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February 8, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(6):459. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530320047011

It is not a particularly welcome discovery to find a new and serious disease endemic in a region hitherto supposed to be free from it. The report of Dr. Searcy of the discovery of pellagra in the Mount Vernon Insane Asylum in Alabama1 is now supplemented by a similar report by the medical officers of the State Hospital for the Insane at Columbia, S. C., with detailed clinical histories of a number of cases there observed. They conclude that a disease of this type occurs in that state and that the characteristic form of mental disorder it produces is also observed. Since it is estimated that in southern Europe only about 10 per cent of the victims of the disease present these mental symptoms the occurrence of a number of cases in the asylum would indicate the existence of a much larger number in the general community. It is

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