A 55-year-old woman has progressive dementia over the past year. Over the past 3 months she has also developed dysarthria, myoclonus, intention tremor, and hyperreflexia. CSF VDRL is positive. This patient’s symptoms are being caused by which of the following?
a. A response to penicillin treatment
b. An autoimmune reaction
c. An acute meningoencephalitis
d. A chronic meningoencephalitis
e. A chronic rhombencephalitis
the answer is below…
The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.
The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.
This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.
The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.
All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.
The correct answer is d; A chronic meningoencephalitis.
General paresis is a slowly evolving process that may require years to produce substantial disability. The early symptoms are a subtle dementia, characterized by memory loss and impaired reasoning, with later development of dysarthria, myoclonus, tremor, seizures, and upper motor neuron signs, leading to a bedridden state. Both the meninges and the parenchyma of the brain are involved by this chronic infection. The meninges are thickened and opaque, and a granular ependymitis characteristically develops. Degenerative changes occur throughout the cerebral parenchyma. Penicillin is the treatment of choice for this disease. The damage done to the brain is not mediated by autoimmune or adverse drug reaction mechanisms. This infection produces widespread injury to the brain rather than the restricted brainstem damage that typically occurs with infections that attack structures arising from the embryonic rhombencephalon. With a rhombencephalitis, the pons and medulla oblongata are the principal targets of disease.