Primarily, Neurosyphilis is the invasion of the causative organism of syphilis(treponema pallidum) in the central nervous system. Majority of neurosyphilis cases have been found present in the face of an HIV infection, and this is due to it’s immunodeficiency peculiarity.
IS THERE ANY DISTINCTION BETWEEN SYPHILIS AND NEUROSYPHILIS?
Syphilis is a disease caused by the bacterial infection of treponema pallidum usually acquired through sexual contact. Neurosyphilis is the invasion of this bacteria(treponema pallidum) in the CNS as a consequence of getting infected with syphilis, especially if the syphilis has been left untreated.
HOW DOES NEUROSYPHILIS PRESENT ITSELF?
Usually,when one gets infected with syphilis, it goes unnoticed, that is, the infected individuals usually does not know, especially if they are asymptomatic (absence of symptoms).But over a long period of time (which might also take years), it might develop into Neurosyphilis and thus present with the following symptoms:
• Loss of sensation in the lower limb
• Problems with Vision
• Inability to walk well( Gait abnormalities)
• Confusion and restlessness
• Stiff Neck
• Ulcers on some parts of the body
• Body weakness
There is no gold standard for detecting neurosyphilis. However, certain blood tests can be carried out to determine the presence of treponema pallidum. These tests are
• TPPA (Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay)
• RPR ( Rapid plasma reagin)
• VDRL (Veneral disease research laboratory test)
• FTA-ABS (Fluorescent treponema antibody absorption)
To detect the presence of treponema palladium(syphilis) in the central nervous system, a more advanced procedure is required and includes
• Lumbar Puncture
• Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
• Cerebral angiogram
• Head CT Scan
CAN NEUROSYPHILIS BE TREATED?
Of course, after all it is a bacterial infection and can be treated with the use of potent antibiotics. But please note that the efficiency relies heavily on the severity of the disease before treatment is begun.
The use of antibiotics for treating neurosyphilis should be prescribed by your physician and advise strictly adhered to. To confirm if it’s been completely treated, tests should be done after treatment.