Tabes Dorsalis

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tabes dorsalis

[′tā·bēz dȯr′sal·əs]
A form of parenchymatous neurosyphilis in which there is demyelination and sclerosis of the posterior columns of the spinal cord. Also known as locomotor ataxia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tabes Dorsalis


a late form of the syphilitic infection of the nervous system that primarily affects the meninges, the dorsal roots of the spinal nerves, and the posterior columns of the spinal cord. The first symptoms of tabes dorsalis appear from three to 30 years (usually approximately ten years) after infection. The disease is manifested by whooping cough, labored breathing, pupillary changes, and pain and paresthesia (formication, numbness, tingling in the legs, paroxysms of intense pain in the internal organs [tabetic crises]). Disturbances of musculoskeletal sensation in the legs is impaired, resulting in a sharp decrease in muscle tone, the loss of reflexes, and incoordination (specifically, ataxic gait). Also characteristic is tissue malnutrition, which is marked by joint deformities, an increased bone fragility, ulceration of the soles of the feet, loss of hair, and severe emaciation. Infection of the optic nerve with tabes dorsalis may cause vision disturbances and sometimes blindness.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Obrebski, "Charcot's arthropathy of the hip joints: a late manifestation of tabes dorsalis successfully treated by total joint arthroplasty report of 2 cases," Journal of Arthroplasty, vol.
Central sensorial lesions can be caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), syringomyelia, tabes dorsalis, leprosy, congenital lack of response to the pain, cerebral palsy, or a spinal cord injury, whereas peripheral sensorial lesions are caused by DM, alcoholism, infections, poliomyelitis, pernicious anemia, or amyloidosis.
At this meeting he noted that cerebellar pathology was associated with hypermetria and ataxia, which are not aggravated by eye closure, contrary to that which was found in tabes dorsalis.
Tabes dorsalis and general paresis also may be later manifestations.
In his short story Love-o'-Women, published in 1893 in the collection Many Inventions, Kipling gives a clinically accurate description of tabes dorsalis and what is probably the only literary description of Romberg's test.