Convulsive therapy was first advanced by Ladislaus von Meduna of Budapest, Hungary. He conceived this form of therapy on the basis of reports as to the infrequency of the occurrence of both epilepsy and schizophrenia in the same individual and the fact that patients known to have schizophrenia had greatly improved or had recovered when spontaneous epileptic seizures developed. Meduna1 said "The theoretical basis for the therapy with cardiazol lies in the assumption that a certain biochemical antagonism exists between the convulsive state and the schizophrenic process."
Meduna first experimented with animals, producing convulsions by injecting camphor. Jan. 2, 1934, he gave his first injection of a 25 per cent solution of oleum camphoratum to a patient for the purpose of producing a convulsion. He2 found one patient in whom he could not produce a convulsion with camphor, so metrazol (cardiazol) was substituted. Cardiazol, or metrazol, is an
BENNETT BT, FITZPATRICK CP. FRACTURES OF THE SPINE COMPLICATING METRAZOL THERAPY. JAMA. 1939;112(22):2240–2244. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800220006002
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