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June 25, 1932


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Physiological Chemistry, Yale University NEW HAVEN, CONN.

JAMA. 1932;98(26):2282-2288. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.27320520004008

When considering the application in the clinic of the experimental work of physiologists concerning the antineuritic vitamin, it is advantageous to distinguish between the state of extreme deficiency of this accessory food factor as contrasted with that in which there is only a moderate shortage of this vitamin. Beriberi may be taken as the prime illustration of the former condition; its syndrome is quite well defined, a fact that is of great aid to an accurate diagnosis. Quite a different state of affairs characterizes a moderate lack of antineuritic vitamin. In such cases the picture is not clear-cut but rather confused, and in consequence of this there may be considerable difference of opinion regarding the significance or even the existence of various alleged features of the syndrome. Obviously, then, progress in this field must necessarily be slow, and every step forward must be taken with proper scientific caution; the need