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tabes dorsalis tabes dor·sa·lis (dôr-sā'lĭs, -sāl'ĭs)
A late form of syphilis resulting in hardening of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord and characterized by shooting pains, emaciation, loss of muscular coordination, and disturbances of sensation and digestion. Also called Duchenne's disease, locomotor ataxia, spinal atrophy.
rare neurologic form of tertiary syphilis, involving sensory deficits, loss of neuromuscular coordination, and diminished reflexes. Symptoms of this form of neurosyphilis chiefly affect the legs and may not appear for more than 25 years after the initial infection. Untreated, tabes dorsalis usually makes unassisted walking impossible and severely debilitates the victim.