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October 18, 1930


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Neuropsychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School MADISON, WIS.

JAMA. 1930;95(16):1168-1171. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720160028009

By narcosis I mean a state of deep sleep or unconsciousness, more or less prolonged, and quite rapidly induced by means of drugs; a condition similar to the state of general anesthesia necessary for surgical operation, but not as profound.

There is reported herewith the effect of narcosis in certain mental states, and its use as a therapeutic measure in the clinical management of various neuropsychiatric conditions.

Before taking up the conditions in which deep sleep has been a decidedly beneficial therapy, I wish to emphasize, what seems quite unnecessary, the essential need of sleep in man and animal as well. Sleep is a biologic reaction of defense on the part of the animal organism against fatigue. Any disturbance of this natural cycle is attended with grave results. The continuous loss of sleep over a period of from five to seven days is incompatible with life. In all probability, the

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