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November 13, 1909


Author Affiliations

Director of the Laboratories of Experimental Research; Instructor in Surgery, University of California SAN FRANCISCO

From the Laboratories of Experimental Research, Medical Department, University of California.

JAMA. 1909;LIII(20):1611-1614. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.92550200001001b

In the numerous electric experiments on the brain that followed the epoch-making discoveries of Fritch and Hitzig relative to the excitability of the brain, the electric current was invariably applied to the surface of the brain within the trephined skull; it is to Professor Leduc, of Nantes, that we must give credit for having first demonstrated the passage of electric currents through the unopened skull. As early as 1893 W. F. Hutchinson stated that induced current vibrations of extreme rapidity possessed anesthetic properties, but his experimental and clinical findings were far from convincing, although the idea seems to have met with acceptance in some circles. Leduc, in experiments performed in 1902, again called attention to the subject, having, as he stated, produced "instantaneously and without pain complete inhibition of the cerebral centers, leaving the respiratory and circulatory centers intact, thus causing a condition characterized by the loss of

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