- A disease occurring in Ethiopia, Algeria, and India, characterized by various nervous manifestations, tremors, spastic paraplegia, and paresthesias; prevalent in districts where vetches, khasari (Lathyrus sativus), and allied species form the main food. Experimentally, a form of bone disease induced in laboratory animals by feeding L. sativus peas, or a principle derived from them, especially β-aminoproprionitrile. SYN: lupinosis. [L. lathyrus, vetch]
* * *lath·y·rism 'lath-ə-.riz-əm n a diseased condition of humans, domestic animals, and esp. horses that results from poisoning by an amino acid found in some legumes of the genus Lathyrus (esp. L. sativus) and is characterized esp. by spastic paralysis of the hind or lower limbs
* * *n.a disease, characterized by muscular weakness and paralysis, found among people whose staple diet consists mostly of large quantites of Lathyrus sativus, a kind of chick pea, and/or vetches and pulses related to it. Except in mild cases complete recovery does not occur, despite administration of an adequate diet and physiotherapy.
* * *lath·y·rism (lathґə-riz-əm) a morbid condition seen after excessive ingestion of seeds of the genus Lathyrus, which contain β-aminopropionitrile, an inhibitor of the enzyme lysyl oxidase; symptoms include spastic paraplegia, pain, hyperesthesia, and paresthesia. Cf. lupinosis and osteolathyrism. lathyritic adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.