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December 1958

Evaluation of the Sedation Threshold Test

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(6):771-775. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340120107016
Abstract

During the past few years a number of articles have been published by Shagass and others1-5 describing an objective means of evaluating clinical psychiatric data. This is known as the sedation threshold and is determined clinically after intravenous injection of amobarbital (Amytal) sodium by slurring of speech and, more precisely, by the EEG changes produced by barbiturates. By means of this method, there were obtained a number of interesting findings which seemed to warrant further investigation. The purpose of the present study was (1) to test the reliability of the technique and to determine how accurately it could be reproduced; (2) to examine the correlation of the sedation threshold with certain diagnostic categories and with manifest anxiety, and (3) to evaluate the stability of the threshold in nonpatient controls or in patients whose psychopathology remained constant.

Method  The method of determining the threshold corresponded to that originally described except

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