Augustine1 in 1803 demonstrated that stimulation of the ear region by the galvanic current produced falling. By 1874, as a result of the investigations of Purkinje, Hitzig,1 Breuer2 and others, it had been demonstrated that closure of the galvanic circuit through the labyrinth produced anodal falling and nystagmus toward the cathode, and that opening of the circuit caused a reversal of the direction of both nystagmus and falling. Further clinical and experimental observations regarding galvanic stimulation by Neumann,3 Bárány,3 MacKenzie,4 Alexander5 and a host of other investigators resulted in confusing and controversial evidence regarding the value of galvanic stimulation of the ear. The impression gained by many otologists was that when a small amount of current was used the stimulation was limited to the labyrinth. The contradictory clinical results obtained by galvanic stimulation of the labyrinth has caused its infrequent application, and observations
BLONDER EJ, DAVIS L. THE GALVANIC FALLING REACTION IN PATIENTS WITH VERIFIED INTRACRANIAL NEOPLASMS. JAMA. 1936;107(6):411–412. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770320015005
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