William Paul Skelton III, MD
To the Editor: Chronic neuropathic beriberi is a painful and persistent form of nerve dysfunction affecting 1 in 30 persons with beriberi. In the United States, most cases are seen in immigrants from the Far East or in former U.S. prisoners of war held in Asia. Both groups subsisted on a diet consisting primarily of polished rice, which is practically devoid of thiamine. The characteristic pathologic change in neuropathic beriberi is axonal degeneration, with destruction of both the axon and the myelin sheath; in addition, variable amounts of segmental demyelination may occur (1). The distal fibers of the longest and
Skelton WP. Neuropathic Beriberi and Carbamazepine. Ann Intern Med. ;109:598–599. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-7-598
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(7):598-599.
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