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August 17, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(7):454. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470330036006

Since the recent extensive epidemic of arsenical neuritis due to the use of contaminated beer the question has been raised whether so-called alcoholic neuritis is really of alcoholic and not of arsenical origin. It has been contended that this form of neuritis occurs only in beer-drinkers and not in spirit-drinkers, and there is evidence to show that it is the impurities present rather than the alcohol that is responsible for the intoxication resulting from the use of spirit. For the purpose of reaching a definite opinion in the matter, Dr. E. F. Buzzard2 undertook a careful analysis of 120 cases of alcoholic neuritis observed during a period of twelve years at the National Hospital for the Paralyzed and Epileptic in London. Of this number spirit alone and in excess was taken in 29; beer alone and in excess in 1; spirit especially in 11; beer especially in 1; and