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Neurosyphilis

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Neurosyphilis refers to the infection of the brain and spinal cord by the syphilis bacteria. This can lead to destruction in many areas of the nervous system, causing loss of function of a person's arms or legs, loss of vision, and altered mental abilities. Neurosyphilis can affect many different body systems and may develop over an extended period of time. Symptoms of neurosyphilis usually include:

Other symptoms may include:

Most forms of neurosyphilis take years to develop and can be life-threatening. People who are also infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tend to develop signs of neurosyphilis sooner.

Antibiotic treatment cures the syphilis infection and stops the progress of neurosyphilis. But the damage that has already occurred may not be reversed.


Credits for Neurosyphilis

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kevin C. Kiley MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology


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