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April 1945

ORGANIC PSYCHOTIC SYNDROMES OCCURRING DURING ELECTRIC CONVULSIVE THERAPY

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1945;53(4):269-273. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1945.02300040015003
Abstract

In electric convulsive therapy the first'clinical improvement is frequently followed by an acute psychotic picture which is an organic reaction caused by the treatment. Not only are such disturbances of practical importance for the correct application of electric convulsive therapy, but they have many theoretic implications of great interest. The much discussed impairment of memory is the most constant, but never the only, organic mental symptom during electric convulsive therapy. Careful examination will reveal equally early symptoms in the emotional sphere. In a fair number of patients more dramatic syndromes develop. These always have certain characteristic features which permit their diagnosis as organic psychotic reactions implanted on the psychosis for which the patient is being treated; they disappear within one or two weeks after the last treatment. Their misinterpretation often leads to untimely cessation of treatment or, more frequently, to its unnecessary prolongation because of symptoms which are mistaken for

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