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September 1949

A POSSIBLE PSYCHOLOGIC COMPLICATION AND CONTRAINDICATION TO ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY MODIFIED WITH CURARE: Report of a Case

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;62(3):287-292. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310150034004
Abstract

THE WIDE application of electric shock therapy and its modifications, such as curarization, has demanded careful evaluation of its complications and contraindications. Attention has been directed primarily to the problem of the somatic complications of shock therapy (with and without curare), as well as to the definition of the limits of somatic tolerance (contraindications) to these treatments.1 Because of the rigors of shock therapy, there is a very real justification for this preoccupation with somatic sequelae and contraindications.

There has been no similar definition of the psychologic complications and contraindications to electric shock therapy or its modifications, at least as reflected in the psychiatric literature. Most studies have been conducted on "organic reaction patterns" following shock therapy, but these studies are largely within the frame of the search for somatic complications. Frosch and associates2 have reported acute psychotic reactions following electric shock but have not considered them in

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