Of 898 former Far East prisoners of war, assessed between 1968 and 1981, 49 (5.5%) had evidence of persisting symptomatic neurological disease dating back to their periods of malnutrition in captivity. The commonest syndromes were peripheral neuropathy (often of "burning foot" type), optic atrophy, and sensori-neural deafness. Though nutritional neuropathies disappeared soon after release in most ex-Far East prisoners of war, in some they have persisted up to 36 years since exposure to the nutritional insult.
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