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June 1947

ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC STUDY OF ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPYPsychotic Patients Treated in a United States Naval Hospital

Arch NeurPsych. 1947;57(6):712-718. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300290072004

IT IS recognized that electric shock therapy produces recovery in a surprising number of mentally sick people, but not a great deal is known about the exact healing mechanisms. In a previous study1 a broad clinicotheoretic approach was made to this problem, attempting to integrate and correlate various physiologic and psychobiologic factors in the curative process. The present paper is confined primarily to the sequence of neurophysiologic events reflected in the electroencephalographic series. Always keeping in mind that the electroencephalogram registers only the physiologic state of the brain and its disturbances, and chiefly the activity from the convexity of the cerebrum, one can still derive a great deal of information about what occurs when the patient is subjected to a series of electric convulsive treatments.


Material.  —Our patients comprised a series of 106 psychotic, men—Naval, Marine and Coast Guard personnel—evacuated from the Pacific area. Most of