February 1, 1941

The Histamine and Insulin Treatment of Schizophrenia and Other Mental Diseases

Author Affiliations

By Horace Hill, M.R.C.P., Medical Superintendent, Laverstock House Mental Home, Salisbury. Cloth. Price, $1.75. Pp. 133. Baltimore: William Wood & Company, 1940.

JAMA. 1941;116(5):450. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820050094034

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The author states that histamine is present not only in insulin shock but in every variety of shock and, further, that evidence goes to show that in the cases of induced fits (i. e. convulsion therapy) the thing of essential importance is not the actual fit but the histamine formed. These statements, mainly the first parts of them, one can hardly argue away. The originators of the insulin and convulsion treatments themselves never believed or stated that the curative agent of the so-called shock therapies is the shock itself. On the contrary, they always emphasized that the biochemical changes connected with the shock are of primary importance. What these unknown factors are, the mutual and forced work of innumerable researches here and abroad have not determined for the time being. Unfortunately the flat assumptions of the author cannot replace meticulous research work. Not regarding, however, the weakness of its theoretical

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