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Article
November 1937

Latent Syphilis and the Autonomic Nervous System

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;36(5):1124. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01480050190033

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Abstract

In the opening chapter the author states the reasons for his belief in the lymphatic hypothesis and in McDonagh's hypothesis of a sporular stage in the life cycle of Spirochaeta pallida. Applying "this newer pathology of syphilis," he points out that structures such as the vagus nerve and the esophagus in the thorax "and the sympathetic ganglia in the abdomen can hardly escape so wide spread and destructive a process as the perilymphatic infiltration" described by the proponents of this theory.

On this pathologic basis he concludes that many obscure conditions which confront the general practitioner may be due to such an infiltration and may call for the consideration of latent syphilis in diagnosis. Among the diseases and symptoms calling for such considerations he includes some of the diseases of the thyroid gland, certain allergic conditions, asthma, vasomotor disturbances such as angioneurotic edema and purpura, nervous dysphagia, nervous dyspepsia, the

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