In 1939 Fiamberti1 reported on the use of intravenous injections of acetylcholine chloride for the production of convulsions in treatment of the psychoses. It was stated that these convulsions were not as severe as those produced by the injection of metrazol and were, therefore, less apt to produce fractures, a complication which has been reported to occur frequently with the latter form of therapy.2 In view of these considerations and because acetylcholine is known to play an important role in normal neurohumeral mechanisms,3 it was thought desirable to extend the studies of Fiamberti.
An extensive literature is available on the effects of acetylcholine and its derivatives, both in animals and in man.
Carmichael and Fraser4 stated that the rapid intravenous injection of 0.2 to 0.5 cc. of a 5 per cent solution of acetylcholine hydrochloride into normal human subjects produced a sense of obstructed breathing and
HARRIS MM, PACELLA BL. CONVULSANT SHOCK TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH MENTAL DISEASE BY INTRAVENOUS INJECTION OF ACETYLCHOLINEELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC AND ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC OBSERVATIONS. Arch NeurPsych. 1943;50(3):304-310. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1943.02290210082005