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July 1946

SENSATION OF ELECTRIC SHOCK FOLLOWING HEAD INJURY

Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES

Arch NeurPsych. 1946;56(1):30-41. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1946.02300180040003
Abstract

RECENT observation of many cases of the sensation of electric shock on flexion of the neck as a result of war injuries has reawakened interest in this phenomenon, which was first noted and described during World War I. Heretofore it has been regarded as an interesting medical curiosity, chiefly because of its occurrence as a subjective symptom in cases of multiple sclerosis. Its appearance with this disease was described by Lhermitte, and the phenomenon is frequently referred to in the literature as "Lhermitte's sign." It is the purpose of this paper to report these recently observed cases, together with details of the variations of the symptom, for it is believed that this sign may be indicative of concomitant damage to the cord in cases of head injury and that it is of more than academic interest.

In an excellent brief review of the literature, Salmon1 noted that in Babinski's

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