Rudin DO. (1981) Biol Psychiatry. 16(9) 837-50
Pellagra was once a major cause of three behaviorally different mental disorders-schizophreniform, manic-depressive-like, and phobic neurotic - plus drying dermatoses, autonomic neuropathies, tinnitus, and fatigue. In this preliminary study all three of the corresponding present-day mental diseases are found to exhibit, statistically, the same pellagraform physical disorders but to ameliorate not so much with vitamins as with supplements of a newly discovered trace omega-3 essential fatty acid (w3-EFA), which provides the substrate upon which niacin and other B vitamin holoenzymes act uniquely to form the prostaglandin 3 series tissue hormones regulating neurocircuits en block. Since present-day refining and food selection patterns, as well as pure corn diets, deplete both the B vitamins and W3-EFA, the existence of therapeutically cross-reacting homologous catalyst and substrate deficiency forms of pellagra are postulated, the first contributing to the B vitamin deficiency epidemics of 50-100 years ago, the second to the more recent endemic "Diseases of Western Civilization" which express in certain genetic subgroups as the major mental illnesses of today.