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June 18, 1932

Ergot and Ergotism: A Monograph Based on the Dohme Lectures Delivered in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1932;98(25):2235-2236. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730510061033

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This valuable monograph, an amplification of the "Dohme Lectures" delivered by the author at Johns Hopkins University, is the result of more than twenty years of research and study. An interesting chapter on the history of ergot precedes a scholarly exposition of ergotism. Rather startling is Barger's tentative conclusion that vitamin A deficiency is the predisposing factor in convulsive ergotism, a theory suggested by Edward Mellanby's observations on dogs and the peculiar distribution of this form of ergotism, which almost never occurs in France, a land rich in dairy products, but does occur in districts of Germany where the reverse is the case, and also in families deprived of milk and butter. A satisfactory chapter on the botony of ergot contains, among other things, the matter of the control of ergotism by agricultural and other methods. That the question as to which is the active principle of ergot is not