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Article
March 29, 1902

THE RELATION OF ARSENIC TO ALCOHOLIC NEURITIS AND BERI-BERI.

JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(13):827-828. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480130025005
Abstract

During the last half of 1900, there occurred in England a most remarkable epidemic of peripheral neuritis which was referred to at the time in The Journal.1 The cases were limited to persons who drank beer and were first considered to be instances of alcoholic neuritis. The presence of certain symptoms not observed in the usual cases of peripheral neuritis due to alcohol, especially pigmentations and keratosis of the skin, running of the eyes and nose, pain, redness and swelling of the soles of the feet and often also of the palms of the hands, led Reynolds of Manchester to suspect that arsenic might be the cause of the disease. The beer of the district was submitted to chemical examination and found to contain arsenic, usually in considerable quantity. The source of the arsenic in the beer was traced to the sugars used in brewing. The sugars were prepared

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