Pellagra is basically a vitamin deficiency disease which occurs due to deficiency of water soluble vitamin B3 of B complex group whose other name is Niacin or Nicotinninc acid.
Niacin play very important role as co-factor NAD(Nicotinnamide Adenine dinucleotide and its phosphorylated form NADP in many vital body processes.Thus its deficiency lead to many pathological conditions related to skin , git and even brain.It is a disease recognised by group of symptoms 3 D which stand for Diarrhoea, Dementia & Dermatitis and sometime Death 4th D if not treated in time .That is why it is also known as 3D disease.
D1 Diarrhoea is related to dehydration loose motion
D2 Dementia is loss of memory and
D3Dermatitis is inflammatory reaction of skin and mucosa that is itching , irritation & glossitis i.e inflammation of tongue.
Pathophysiology lying behind is either Primary or Secondary
Primary Pellagra that is due to poor intake of niacin or
Secondary Pellagra due to poor absorption of niacinwhich may occur in certain conditions like
Chronic alcoholism, eating disorders and certain medications like anticonvulsant and immunosuppressant , liver cirrhosis, git disorders and Crohn’s disease etc.
Treatment:Primary pellagra can be treated with dietary change, niacin rich diet and intravenous niacin too in severe cases while secondary is with treatment of underlying causative disease.