[Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis syndrome of syphilitic origin. 5 cases]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 1990;146(1):41-4.
[Article in French]


We studied 5 cases of syphilitic lateral amyotrophic sclerosis. The diagnosis was based on the presence of a lymphocytic reaction in the CSF and positive VDRL and TPHA reactions in both blood and CSF. Clinically, the disease affected the arms in 3 cases and produced paraplegia in 2 cases. The gradual extension of amyotrophy over several months, the diffusion of electromyographic abnormalities and the finding of spinal cord atrophy at myelography and CT suggested a subacute ischemic mechanism with meningo-myelic arteritis involving the anterior horns. After treatment with penicillin G in high doses, the outcome was constantly favourable, with improvement of motor deficit in 4 cases and stabilisation in 1 case in a 5 to 13 years' follow-up.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / etiology*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / analysis
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosyphilis / complications*
  • Penicillin G / therapeutic use
  • Syndrome
  • Syphilis Serodiagnosis


  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins
  • Penicillin G