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November 4, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(19):1610-1611. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640190048020

The problem of neuritis in the tropics is not a new one. Beriberi was first described, from East Indian cases, by the Dutch physicians Jacob Bontius1 and Nicholas Tulp2 centuries ago. And it was again a Dutch scientist, Dr. C. Eijkman, now professor of hygiene at the University of Utrecht, who first produced experimentally through dietary measures a disease of polyneuritic character which resembles the tropical malady beriberi. Those who gather their information and impressions about tropical diseases from the printed page, and have become educated in the seeming simplicity of the modern vitamin hypotheses in relation to malnutrition and disease, might assume that beriberi should be well nigh eradicated by this time, or at any rate that it need no longer be a matter of very serious medical concern in those places where intelligent forces can be brought into operation. Consequently, it may come as somewhat of

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