- tabes dorsalis
- tabes dor·sa·lis -dȯr-'sā-ləs, -'sal-əs n a syphilitic disorder that involves the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and the sensory nerve trunks and that is marked by wasting, pain, lack of coordination of voluntary movements and reflexes, and disorders of sensation, nutrition, and vision called also locomotor ataxia
* * *a form of neurosyphilis occurring 5-20 years after the original sexually transmitted infection. The infecting organisms progressively destroy the sensory nerves. Severe stabbing pains in the legs and trunk, an unsteady gait, and loss of bladder control are common. Some patients have blurred vision caused by damage to the optic nerves. Penicillin is used to arrest the progression of this illness. See also syphilis, general paralysis of the insane.
* * *parenchymatous neurosyphilis in which there is slowly progressive degeneration of the posterior columns and posterior roots and ganglia of the spinal cord, occurring 15 to 20 years after the initial infection of syphilis, characterized by lancinating lightning pains, urinary incontinence, ataxia, impaired position and vibratory sense, optic atrophy, hypotonia, hyperreflexia, and trophic joint degeneration (Charcot joints). Called also Duchenne disease, locomotor ataxia, and tabetic neurosyphilis.
Advanced tabes dorsalis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.