Pellagra is a trophoneurotic disease, affecting the cerebrospinal, digestive and cutaneous systems and characterized by an erythema. The immediate cause of pellagra is a fatty oil or extractive, called by Lombroso pellagrozein, that develops in fermenting and decomposing maize. This extractive is probably formed under the influence of a fungus. Poverty and unhygienic surroundings are predisposing causes, and most cases probably occur among the agricultural class, because they raise maize and eat it as a regular daily diet. Women are more often attacked than men, and children less often than adults. The disease occurs more often in patients between the ages of 30 and 50. As the erythema selects those portions of the body exposed to the sun's rays, it is more than probable that exposure to the sun is a factor in its development.
Belmondo believes that the disease is due to a specific organism. Lombroso experimentally produced in
BELLAMY RH. PELLAGRA.ITS OCCURRENCE IN THIS COUNTRY; REPORT OF CASES.. JAMA. 1908;LI(5):397–399. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410050037002j
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