DISTRIBUTION AND CAUSE OF PELLAGRA
Dr. Louis W. Sambon, of the London School of Tropical Medicine, who is about to visit the United States in response to an invitation to join the Pellagra Commission which is working in South Carolina, contributes to the last number of The British Medical Journal an article giving an account of several cases in Great Britain and of his theory of the natural history of the disease. Pellagra has been recognized for two centuries, but until recently was supposed to be confined to the peasantry in parts of Italy and other regions adjacent to the Mediterranean. The symptoms are first a red smarting rash—whence the name of the disease—headache, giddiness and diarrhœa. It appears in the spring, declining towards autumn, and is likely to recur with increased intensity the following spring. Death frequently follows, or a complete disorganization of the nervous system, leading to imbecility and a mummified condition of body.
The theory of Lombroso that pellagra is caused by eating moldy maize was widely accepted, until Dr. Sambon at a meeting of the British Association
for thirty-one years professor of natural history and geology in the University of Virginia, who has died at the age of seventy-eight years.