Beriberi being a disease more particularly of the tropics and rarely seen in America, it may be well at the beginning of this paper to give a short description of the disease, so that those who are unfamiliar with its manifestations may bear in mind a picture of its principal characteristics.
Beriberi may be described as an acute or subacute infectious disease occurring endemically or epidemically usually in tropical countries. Its chief characteristic is a sensory-motor paralysis due to an involvement of the peripheral terminations of the sensory and motor nerves. The peripheral terminations are usually affected in the following order: The terminations of the vagus in the heart and lungs, the cardiac accelerator, those which have to do with the knee jerk, the branches of the peronei and anterior tibial, the muscles of leg and thigh, the extensors of the wrists and fingers, etc. After an incubation period