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October 1959

Lipid Factors in the Production of Enephalomalacia in the Chick

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(4):420-424. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590040090009

Studies of chick encephalomalacia, or “crazy-chick” disease, may provide basic information about brain metabolism. The techniques and some of the variables involved are described in this paper. The requirement for tocopherol, which by itself seems to be a specific preventative of encephalomalacia, is not absolute for any given species, but may depend on the presence of various types of biological and dietary stresses, especially those related to lipids in the diet.1 Effects of ingested lipids on tocopherol requirement can be studied in chicks by taking the appearance of symptoms and lesions of encephalomalacia as the end-point in the demonstration of deficiency. The most effective diets used by other investigators to produce encephalomalacia contained large amounts of protein and highly unsaturated fish oils, hog liver fatty acids, or lard.2-6 It has been suggested that the intake of unsaturated oxidizable lipids is of primary