Neurosyphilis refers to the infection of the brain and spinal cord by
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:
Personality changes, such as confusion and
Decreased ability to concentrate.
Difficulty speaking or understanding
Tremor of the fingers and lips.
Other symptoms may include:
A wide gait.
Numbness or tingling of
the hands or feet.
because of lack of sensation (Charcot's joint).
control urine or stool (urinary or fecal incontinence).
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
Antibiotic treatment cures the syphilis infection and
stops the progress of neurosyphilis. But the damage that has already occurred
may not be reversed.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology