July 19, 2022

JUL 19, organic brain poetry: GPI (general paresis of the insane)


General paresis (insane),

Syphilitic late syndrome, now plain,

Younger men it was killin'

(Era pre-penicillin).

I hope we won't see it again!

paresis: weakness or fatigue

General paresis of the insane, known by the initialism GPI, was recognized as a distinct disease in 1822, and considered by the Victorians to be a form of madness in persons, primarily men, of dissolute character. It took another century until it was confirmed that it was caused by spirochetes, causative organism for syphilis, damaging the brain in the late (tertiary) stage, and that its progression could be halted by antibiotics such as anti-malarial arsenicals and, after 1940, penicillin. Once a relatively common problem on a global scale, GPI now seems to be confined to developing countries.

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