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December 7, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(14):1861-1862. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980320091024

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To the Editor:—  I was interested to read Dr. Karl O. Von Hagen's article in the Oct. 19, 1957, issue of The Journal, page 773, in which he reported the relief of severe pain in eight patients by means of electroshock treatment. I can confirm the effectiveness of electroshock treatment in relieving chronic severe pain in some patients. Offhand seven cases come to mind. In two of them the severe abdominal pains of porphyria were relieved by electroshock treatment. Two other patients had chronic trigeminal neuralgic pains relieved by electroshock treatment. Three cases of headache were relieved by this treatment. All of these patients had been given extensive treatment, including psychotherapy, without benefit.It has been my experience that patients suffering from chronic severe pain, even though there may be a large psychogenic element, are very difficult to treat psychotherapeutically. The above patients came to electroshock treatment as a result

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