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June 1939


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Neurological Division of the Montefiore Hospital, Dr. S. P. Good-hart, Director, and the Neurological Service of Dr. Israel Strauss, Mount Sinai Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(6):1222-1228. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270180150013

In recent years some light has been thrown on the obscure field of the causation of various forms of polyneuritis. Previously, the occurrence of neuritis in the deficiency disease beriberi, as well as the experimental production of polyneuritis in animals on a vitamin-free diet, had pointed to the probable importance of avitaminosis in the pathogenesis of neuritis.

In 1928, Shattuck1 suggested that polyneuritis occurring in ill nourished persons with tuberculosis, cancer, syphilis, diabetes, alcoholism and marasmus might be due to insufficiency of vitamin B and might be identical with the disease known as beriberi. The occurrence of polyneuritis in association with hyperemesis gravidarum pointed in the same direction. Until more substantial clinical evidence was forthcoming, however, such views had to remain more or less conjectural. In 1930, Wechsler2 reported a group of cases of polyneuritis in which dietary inadequacy was definitely established and in which the patient improved

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