The courageous pioneer work of Sakel and Meduna has opened wide horizons in the field of psychiatry. When shock treatment was first introduced it was believed to be specific for schizophrenia, but now it is generally considered as a valuable adjuvant to psychotherapy in the treatment of many types of functional mental disorders. The majority of workers have found that the incidence of improvement or recovery with insulin hypoglycemic and metrazol convulsive shock therapy is greater than the rate of spontaneous remission. Although encouraging success has been obtained with this treatment, serious complications, such as fractures, lesions of the brain and abscesses of the lung, and even an occasional fatality have retarded the general adoption of such therapy.
In order to avoid some of the dangers met in metrazol therapy, Cerletti and Bini,1 in 1938 applied electric currents of as high as 300 to 600 milliamperes and 80 to
BERKWITZ NJ. FARADIC SHOCK IN TREATMENT OF FUNCTIONAL MENTAL DISORDERSTREATMENT BY EXCITATION FOLLOWED BY INTRAVENOUS USE OF BARBITURATES. Arch NeurPsych. 1940;44(4):760-775. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1940.02280100062005