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July 9, 1932


JAMA. 1932;99(2):137. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740540045015

Since Eijkman1 showed that noninflammatory atrophic degeneration of the medullary sheaths of peripheral nerves occurred in hens fed on a diet of polished rice, it has been known that dietary deficiencies cause lesions of the nervous system. The factor responsible for this particular morphologic change was shown by Woollard2 and others to be produced by a deficiency of vitamin B. Recently it has been found that what has heretofore been called vitamin B is really a mixture of at least two components; namely, the heat-labile antineuritic factor and a thermostable substance, the absence of which is thought to produce pellagra. Stern and Findlay3 studied the changes in the nervous system of rats fed diets deficient in vitamin B (antineuritic component) and G (pellagra-preventive factor), respectively. In the first group of animals, they found chromatolytic changes in the ganglion cells of the spinal cord and early degeneration of