In the Land of Pain

Asnia Latif, M Faisal Amir Malik, Ali Madeeh Hashmi


(Authors' Note: Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897) was a nineteenth century French novelist. A contemporary of Gustave Flaubert, Edmond de Goncourt and Emile Zola, among others, he achieved much fame and renown in his life time. He contracted syphilis sometimes in his twenties. In the last ten years of his life, he suffered from the effects of neurosyphilis. “In the Land of Pain†is a personal account of his struggle with the illness which eventually took his life).

      In the early nineteenth century, the tertiary form of syphilis began to be recognized. After lurking in the victim’s blood for several years, syphilis attacked the central nervous system. The resulting condition, called neurosyphilis, was invariably fatal. It usually manifested in two major forms: Locomotor ataxia (also called tabesdorsalis) or general paresis (also called general paresis of the insane).

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(C) Annals of KEMU, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan.