Neurosyphilis is rather an unusual cause of dementia characterized by a rapidly progressive course and psychiatric symptoms. Diagnosis of neurosyphilis should be suspected in the presence of a global cognitive impairment consisting in disorientation, amnesia and severe impairment of speech and judgement and psychiatric symptoms such as depression, mania and psychosis, with a subacute onset. More commonly, clinical manifestations of neurosyphilis include general PARESIS (involvement of Personality, Affect, Reflexes, Eye, Sensorium, Intellect and Speech). Upon clinical suspicion, diagnosis of neurosyphilis is confirmed by a reactive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-Venereal Disease Research Laboratory. Here we report three Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-negative male patients presenting with psychiatric symptoms and a rapidly evolving dementia. Although magnetic resonance imaging did not address to diagnosis, CSF examination was mandatory in neurosyphilis diagnosis. Other diagnostic tools such as neuropsychology and single-photon emission computed tomography resulted supportive in the diagnosis. We showed that a prompt antibiotic treatment might stop disease progression. Therefore, neurosyphilis should be always considered even in HIV-negative patients in the presence of unexpected psychiatric symptoms accompanied by a rapidly evolving cognitive decline.

Neurosyphilis manifesting with rapidly progressive dementia: report of three cases.

Riello, Marianna;ROSSINI, Fabio;Mariotto, Sara;FENZI, Flavio;ZANUSSO, Gianluigi;MONACO, Salvatore
2013

Abstract

Neurosyphilis is rather an unusual cause of dementia characterized by a rapidly progressive course and psychiatric symptoms. Diagnosis of neurosyphilis should be suspected in the presence of a global cognitive impairment consisting in disorientation, amnesia and severe impairment of speech and judgement and psychiatric symptoms such as depression, mania and psychosis, with a subacute onset. More commonly, clinical manifestations of neurosyphilis include general PARESIS (involvement of Personality, Affect, Reflexes, Eye, Sensorium, Intellect and Speech). Upon clinical suspicion, diagnosis of neurosyphilis is confirmed by a reactive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-Venereal Disease Research Laboratory. Here we report three Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-negative male patients presenting with psychiatric symptoms and a rapidly evolving dementia. Although magnetic resonance imaging did not address to diagnosis, CSF examination was mandatory in neurosyphilis diagnosis. Other diagnostic tools such as neuropsychology and single-photon emission computed tomography resulted supportive in the diagnosis. We showed that a prompt antibiotic treatment might stop disease progression. Therefore, neurosyphilis should be always considered even in HIV-negative patients in the presence of unexpected psychiatric symptoms accompanied by a rapidly evolving cognitive decline.
general paresis; neurosyphilis; rapidly progressive dementia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/619360
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