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June 1945


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Psychiatry of the Harvard Medical School, and the Boston Psychopathic Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1945;53(6):431-436. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1945.02300060034005

In 1936 and 1937 Lennox, Gibbs and Gibbs1 first reported on the effect of bromides and barbiturates on the electroencephalograms of normal persons and of epileptic patients. In normal subjects, the intravenous administration of 5 to 10 grains (0.325 to 0.65 Gm.) of phenobarbital or 30 grains (2 Gm.) of sodium bromide produced no appreciable effect until drowsiness or sleep occurred, at which point the record resembled that obtained during natural drowsiness or sleep. In epileptic patients, on the other hand, a similar dose of either drug tended to shorten and distort the seizure discharges and to prolong the interval between discharges.

Since this early report, a number of investigators have focused their attention on the effect of drugs on the electroencephalogram, emphasis being given to the clinical phenomena accompanying the various phases of intoxication2 and to the problem of the delirium itself.

In 1938 Rubin and Cohen