BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuGeneral paresisGeneral paresis of the insane; General paralysis of the insane; Paralytic dementiaGeneral paresis is a problem with mental function due to damage to the brain from untreated syphilis. Causes General paresis is one form of neurosyphilis. It usually occurs in people who have had untreated syphilis for many years. Syphilis is bacterial infection that is most often spread through sexual or nonsexual contact. Today, neurosyphilis is very rare.NeurosyphilisNeurosyphilis is a bacterial infection of the brain or spinal cord. It usually occurs in people who have had untreated syphilis for many years....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article SyphilisSyphilis is a bacterial infection that is most often spread through sexual contact.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article With neurosyphilis, the syphilis bacteria attack the brain and nervous system. General paresis often begins about 10 to 30 years after the syphilis infection. Symptoms Syphilis infection can damage many different nerves of the brain. With general paresis, symptoms are usually those of dementia and may include:DementiaDementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Memory problems Language problems, such as saying or writing words incorrectly Decreased mental function, such as problems thinking and with judgment Mood changes Personality changes, such as delusions, hallucinations, irritability, inappropriate behaviorHallucinationsHallucinations involve sensing things such as visions, sounds, or smells that seem real but are not. These things are created by the mind.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history. During the exam, the doctor may check your nervous system function. Mental function tests will also be done.Tests that may be ordered to detect syphilis in the body include:CSF-VDRL CSF-VDRLThe CSF-VDRL test is used to help diagnose neurosyphilis. It looks for substances (proteins) called antibodies, which are sometimes produced by the ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article FTA-ABSFTA-ABSThe FTA-ABS test is used to detect antibodies to the bacteria Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tests of the nervous system may include:Head CT scan and MRI Head CT scanA head computed tomography (CT) scan uses many x-rays to create pictures of the head, including the skull, brain, eye sockets, and sinuses.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article MRIA head MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the brain and surrounding...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Nerve conduction testsNerve conduction testsNerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve. This test is done along with electromyography (EM...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and slow the disorder from getting worse. The provider will prescribe penicillin or other antibiotics to treat the infection. Treatment will likely continue until the infection has completely cleared.Treating the infection will reduce new nerve damage. But it will not cure damage that has already occurred.Treatment of symptoms is needed for existing nervous system damage. Outlook (Prognosis) Without treatment, a person can become disabled. People with late syphilis infections are more likely to develop other infections and diseases. Possible Complications Complications of this condition include:Inability to communicate or interact with others Injury due to seizures or falls Inability to care for yourself When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if you know you have been exposed to syphilis or another sexually transmitted infection in the past, and have not been treated.Call your provider if you have nervous system problems (such as trouble thinking), especially if you know you have been infected with syphilis.Go to the emergency room or call 911 or the local emergency number if you have seizures. Prevention Treating primary syphilis and secondary syphilis infections will prevent general paresis.Practicing safer sex, such as limiting partners and using protection, may reduce the risk of getting infected with syphilis. Avoid direct skin contact with people who have secondary syphilis.Practicing safer sexSafe sex means taking steps before and during sex that can prevent you from getting an infection, or from giving an infection to your partner....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesGhanem KG, Hook EW. Syphilis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 303.Radolf JD, Tramont EC, Salazar JC. Syphilis (Treponema pallidum). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 237.AllVideoImagesTogCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustration Tests for General paresis Nerve conduction velocityRelated Information Neurosyphilis(Condition)Tabes dorsalis(Condition) Review Date: 2/4/2020 Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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