tabes dorsalis

Last reviewed 01/2018

Tabes is a neurosyphilitic syndrome that is the result of demyelination of the dorsal roots.

This condition is seen more frequently in males than in females (M:F = 4:1). The first symptoms of tabes dorsalis generally occur 8-12 years after syphilitic infection.

In this condition there is degeneration of the intraspinal portion of the posterior nerve roots. Degeneration also affects the sensory fibres of the cranial nerves, particularly the fifth and ninth.

Investigations reveal:

  • CSF - slight lymphocytosis, raised gamma globulin
  • motor nerve conduction velocity - normal