Acute complicating diseases are not usually credited with the power of aggravating syphilis, but the fact none the less remains that general or local impairment of nutrition is likely to determine syphilitic action. The more prolonged and irritating the process, the better the prospect of an outcropping of the specific taint.
There is no disease perhaps, which more actively predisposes to nervous disturbance in syphilis than la grippe. I believe that I could, from my own experience, formulate quite a lengthy clinical paper on syphilo-grippal neuroses. In general, I know of no condition more troublesome than a combination of la grippe and syphilis.
One of the important factors in nervous vulnerability in syphilis is defective elimination. Not only do the syphilitic toxins give rise to serious results under such circumstances, but the patient shows intolerance of anti-syphilitic remedies. The so-called idiosyncrasy which makes mercury and the iodids obnoxious to certain
LYDSTON GF. NERVOUS DISEASE IN EARLY SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1895;XXIV(7):245–248. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430070021001h
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