subacute combined degeneration of the cord
subacute combined degeneration of the cordA complication of PERNICIOUS ANAEMIA (vitamin B12 deficiency) that can be prevented by timely diagnosis and treatment. DEMYELINATION, of the sensory and motor tracts of the spinal cord and of the peripheral nerves, occurs causing progressive loss of sensation and muscle weakness with staggering (ataxia). Position sense in the legs is lost. Unless adequately treated the condition progresses to severe disablement with DEMENTIA. Treatment with hydroxycobalamin is curative in the early stages.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005