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January 1950


Arch NeurPsych. 1950;63(1):56-60. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310190062004

TWO PRINCIPAL electric shock methods have been employed for the laboratory appraisal of anticonvulsant drugs: (a) the method of Putnam and Merritt1 and (b) that of Toman, Swinyard and Goodman.2 In the former, the anticonvulsant potency of a compound is determined by its ability to raise the electric shock convulsion threshold in the cat. Convulsions are produced in an animal by passing an intermittent current through the brain for ten seconds. The latter method differs from the former in that the abolition of the extensor tonic component of the convulsion is taken as a measure of anticonvulsant activity. In untreated animals given a threshold stimulus for 0.2 second the convulsion begins with flexion, followed by tonic extension of the hindlimbs and then usually by clonic movements. Rats or mice are commonly used in this test.

Opinions differ as to the merit of the two methods in the appraisal