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Article
April 2, 1904

THE ETIOLOGY OF TABES DORSALIS.

JAMA. 1904;XLII(14):870-872. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92490590004001a

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Abstract

Tabes dorsalis was one of the first of the diseases of the spinal cord to be recognized, and is one of the most frequent types of sclerosis which occurs in the cord; yet after more than half a century of study, there still exists a wide difference of opinion, both as to its etiology and pathology.

All our real knowledge as to its pathology may be summed up as follows: That it is a degeneration of the posterior columns of the spinal cord, or of the peripheral spinal sensory nerves, or both; and that this process involves primarily the posterior spinal ganglia or analogous neurons, and later involves the cord and peripheral nerves. But how these changes are caused, pathology has as yet offered us no explanation, and we must still rely for an explanation on the facts furnished by clinical observation.

Tabes is a disease most common in young

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