Author(s): Mehrabian S, Raycheva MR, Petrova EP, Tsankov NK, Traykov LD
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Abstract Neurosyphilis results from infection of the brain, meninges or spinal cord by Treponema pallidum and develops in about 25\%-40\% of persons who are not treated for syphilis. This article reports a rare case of active neurosyphilis with mild dementia, chronic chorioretinitis, and hearing loss. During the treatment with Penicillin, a rare combination of complications such as Jarisch-Herxheimer and Hoigné reactions were observed.The clinical feature is characterized by a slow progressive cognitive decline and behavior changes for the last 2 years. Neuropsychological examination revealed mild dementia (MMSE = 23) with impaired memory and attention and executive function. Left sided chronic chorioretinitis and hearing loss were documented. High dose intravenous penicillin therapy was complicated by Jarisch-Herxheimer and Hoigne reactions. During the follow up examinations at 6 and 12 months, the clinical signs, neuropsychological examination, and cerebrospinal fluid (CFS) samples showed improvement of dementia, CSF findings, and hydrocephalus.In conclusion, this atypical presentation of neurosyphilis in combination with rare complications of treatment is worthy of attention. Neurosyphilis should be part of the differential diagnosis of each patient showing cognitive deterioration and behaviour disturbances.
This article was published in Cases J
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research