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November 23, 1940

"ELECTRICAL CONVULSION TREATMENT OF MENTAL DISORDERS

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia. Philadelphia General Hospital.

JAMA. 1940;115(21):1821-1822. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810470065027

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  In the editorial in The Journal, August 10, on "Electrical Convulsion Treatment of Mental Disorders,' credit was accorded to Cerletti for first utilizing the electric current in 1937 to induce epileptic seizures in animals. I should like to call attention to a paper by Clark and Wall (Unconsciousness Produced by Electric Currents, Quart. J. Exper. Physiol.24:85 [Feb.] 1934) which states that in 1900 Leduc, by applying certain types of current to an animal's head, produced a fit with loss of consciousness varying in degree from a condition resembling sleep to one of deep coma and loss of reflexes but without causing any permanent damage to the animal.Robinovitch (Sommeil électrique, Nantes, 1906) also described a condition in animals which she called "epilepsie électrique" and in which loss of consciousness was associated with many features characteristic of the epileptic fit. Weiss (Bull. Soc. Internat. des Elect,

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