Tabes is formed essentially by a sclerosis with degeneration of the radical nerve, accessorily by the lesions of the posterior chord of spinal marrow and secondarily by the lesions of the peripheric nerves.
Such is the anatomical definition of tabes which we must take into account while treating not only with antisyphilitic medicines but also thanks to the use of medicines having an elective action on the sclerosis of nerve tissues or localisations thus precised.
It is a disease of adult, coming in course of syphilis contacted 10 to 15 years ago, and which was not treated by specific medicines. The cases treated become complicated or not by Arsenic; Mercurial or Bismuth toxins. These cases are very frequent; they are less typical and it is to be asked if it is precisely the specific treatment of the Official School of which we cannot deny the incontestable value in the fight against the cutaneous affections or of the affections of humoral nature of syphilis is not responsible in some way for the frequent renewal of nervous lesions.
We may believe with some authors that the virus driven from the blood takes refuge in the nervous system and the nervous lesions which were rare among the Africans, Arabs or Negros, who had on the contrary skin affections, have become more and more frequent with the use of the specific toxic compounds, specially of Arsenic. Whatever it may be, let us keep in mind that clinically the symptoms of tabes are always mixed with the chronic meningitis of syphilitic origin, and the Homoeopathic treatment should, if it is useful, follow its action as well on the medullar pyuria as on the lesions of the marrow itself.
What result can we obtain by Homoeopathic treatment in tabes?
We should not hesitate to affirm after treating many cases that the result is superior to that of the Official School.
Face to face with the different symptoms of tabes taken individually and particularly against sensory troubles, the terrible fulgurating pains of the visceras, we are very often better armed than our colleagues of the Official School. As regards myself I could always ameliorate, sometimes even cure completely the painful phenomena of tabes.
The action of Homoeopathic remedies on the motor troubles of tabes is not always very deep. However, the Homoeopathic treatment can help the patient to walk more easily, and can make him more sure of his movements. We may also often act, though not very surely against visual troubles or arthropathies or against the plantar troubles. But it is evident that our success in such a disease will be inversely proportional to the extent and the intensity of lesions of the nerves, the damages caused by sclerosis, and to the degeneration of the radicular nerves and of the posterior chord of the marrow.
In all cases the Homoeopathic treatment will check the progress of the disease, will stop the aggravation which is no doubt an appreciable result.
Let us now study the principal remedies of tabes.
The remedies of tabes
The Metals. Lead, Gold, Silver, Zinc, Iron, Mercury.
Plumbum Metallicum. It causes the anatomic lesions of sclerosis with tremblings, paralysis and muscular atrophies. It would then seem that Plumbum metallicum may not only be the first remedy of sclerosis but often also of tabes. Moreover, lead poisoning causes a form of general pseudo-paralysis. In reality it is not enough that a remedy becomes infallible when it is indicated by anatomo-pathology. Practically Plumbum metallicum has not as wide a filed of action as one thinks. As for example Plumbum metallicum may cause arterial hypertension, but Plumbum cannot ameliorate hypertension.
In fact it is not enough for a remedy to be indicated in Homoeopathic dilution in the disease which is determined by anatomo-pathology even when there is an analogy. It is necessary that the remedy is indicated by pathology and at the same time by its symptoms.
The symptoms of Plumbum metallicum are: Paralysis localised or not. Paresis and paralysis. Abolition of rotular reflexes. Hands and feet are cold. Drawings and numbness of the legs. Paroxistic pains in arms and cramps of the calves.
Sexual weakness. Stubborn constipation, pale face, blue lines on the gums. Inflammation of the optic nerves, optic neuritis, central scotoma. Progressive muscular atrophy. Alternate anaesthesias and pain.
Plumbum iodatum. Same symptoms as the above with more degeneration.
Plumbum phosphoricum. Same symptoms with sexual weakness.
Argentum nitricum. A very important remedy. Debility, tremblings. General aggravation by heat. General left sidedness. Vertigo with the sensation of turning round and round. Amblyopia, momentary loss of vision. Dazzling state. Unstable legs, vacillating. Romberg symptom. Cannot walk in the darkness. Fournier test positive. Gastric troubles specially. Sensation of hot iron and being pierced by a hot knife up to the back. Flatulence. Ulceration of the stomach. Desire for sugar which aggravates. Enterocolitis.