general paralysis


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general paralysis

[¦jen·rəl pə′ral·ə·səs]
(medicine)
A chronic, progressive form of syphilis caused by inflammatory and degenerative changes in the brain and meninges and characterized by physical, emotional, and intellectual deterioration; occurs at least 10 to 15 years after initial infection.
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This pattern was familiar to psychiatrists of the period: as one explained, "[i]f you exclude general paralysis and alcoholism, women are more predisposed to madness than men.

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