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September 1947

PHYSIOLOGY AND THERAPY OF CONVULSIVE DISORDERS: 1. Effect of Anticonvulsant Drugs on Electroshock Seizures in Man

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Utah School of Medicine.

Arch NeurPsych. 1947;58(3):312-324. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300320063003

THE EFFECTS of drugs on various properties of electroshock seizures in experimental animals have been described in previous communications from this laboratory.1 Many anticonvulsant drugs in nontoxic doses have been found to modify the seizure pattern, usually by shortening or abolishing the tonic phase. A simple and quantitative method of assay of anticonvulsant drugs has been developed on the basis of this selective action.1j Of the more widely used antiepileptic agents, diphenylhydantoin, phenobarbital and "tridione" (trimethadione) rank as named in decreasing order of effectiveness when examined by this method.

It would seem important to determine whether the pattern of electroshock seizures in man can be modified by anticonvulsant drugs in doses known to be clinically effective in epilepsy. Such information might help to elucidate the mechanism of action of drugs in control of convulsive disorders. The common use of electroshock seizure therapy of certain psychiatric disorders provides an

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