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IN ANY attempt to evaluate the effects of electroconvulsive therapy or to elucidate the mechanisms involved in ECT, it is believed that the parameters of the stimulus should be known. A familiarity with the conflicting results reported in the field of electroshock research leads one to suspect that one of the serious deterrents to duplicating the work of another investigator is the lack of precise information regarding the quantitative values of the stimuli used by each investigator. In this field of research the usual practice is for the stimulus to be reported in terms of the stimulus duration and the current or voltage preset on the electroshock apparatus before the treatment. From our experiments in direct recording of the stimulus components, we have learned that the value of the stimulus as preset on the machine bears little relation to the amount of stimulus actually delivered to the subject (or tissue).
BROWN GW, RANDALL JE. SIMPLE METHOD FOR RECORDING CURRENT AND VOLTAGE IN ELECTROCONVULSIVE SHOCK. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;71(5):626-628. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02320410088009