That the peripheral nerves, both cranial and spinal, frequently become affected in the course of cerebrospinal syphilis, is every-day experience. Disease of peripheral nerves or nerve-roots without co-existent syphilis of the central nervous system, is rather unusual. Of all cranial nerves the trigeminus is most often affected singly by the specific process. This may occur as part of a periostitic process in the foramina of exit; at the optic foramen, foramen ovale and foramen rotundum; or as a result of destructive processes in the nucleus by hemorrhage, softening, sclerosis or tumor. Isolated disease of the trigeminus, however, is exceedingly rare. The rule is for other nerves to be involved along with the trigeminus in the following order: Optic, facial, oculomotor, abducens, auditory, olfactory, trochlear. The facial, acousticus and motor nerves of the eye are frequently affected together and constitute part of a basal meningitis.
The clinical phenomena of peripheral nerve-syphilis
GRINKER J. A CASE OF PERIPHERAL NERVE SYPHILIS.. JAMA. 1905;XLV(3):177–178. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510030034002c
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