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March 1942

VARIATIONS IN ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM ASSOCIATED WITH ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY OF PATIENTS WITH MENTAL DISORDERS

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1942;47(3):367-384. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1942.02290030025002
Abstract

In the course of administering electric convulsion therapy to a group of psychotic and psychoneurotic patients at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital, a series of electroencephalographic observations were made in order to determine what changes the electroencephalogram might undergo as a result of such treatment.

In the application of electric shock therapy one of two main types of response ordinarily may be obtained: (1) a minor attack, resembling a petit mal epileptic attack, or (2) a generalized convulsive seizure.1 The minor response consists essentially, immediately on passage of the electric current through the brain, of a state of unconsciousness or unawareness of the surroundings for a variable period, usually from one to sixty seconds, associated with apnea. Infrequently, simultaneous with the passage of the current, there is an initial generalized jerk of the body. After the period of unconsciousness, or the "petit mal" seizure in the

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