The whole question of shock therapy has been surrounded with confusion. Not only is the action nonspecific, but there are reports on the one hand of decided improvement and, on the other, of histologic damage to the tissues of the brain, including the cerebral cortex, as well as gross anatomic evidence of injury to bones. But a certain amount of damage to the brain may occur without loss of important functions. Discussions to date concerning the reasons for alterations in behavior following shock therapy have dealt with changes in cerebral circulation, the chemistry and pH of the body fluids and ion changes in the cell membrane, histologic changes in the cerebral cortex, changes in autonomic and hormone balance, fear of the therapy, satisfaction of need for punishment and the death urge and changes in memory. As few controlled experiments had been undertaken to determine what alteration may occur in
ROSEN VH, GANTT WH. EFFECT OF METRAZOL CONVULSIONS ON CONDITIONED REFLEXES IN DOGS. Arch NeurPsych. 1943;50(1):8–17. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1943.02290190018002
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