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September 1957

Pentylenetetrazol (Metrazol) in Mental Deficiency

Author Affiliations

Staten Island, N. Y.
Director (Dr. Berman), Assistant Director (Dr. Lazar), and Supervising Psychiatrists (Drs. Noe and Schiller), Willowbrook State School.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;94(3):231-233. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.04030040013003

Introduction  Pentylenetetrazol (Metrazol) has been used as a respiratory stimulant for 30 years and as a convulsant for 20 years. The pharmacology and chemistry of the drug was described in 1937 by Giessen,1 who gave a bibliography of the German literature up to that time. The use of pentylenetetrazol as a convulsant is well documented in the American literature. During the past five years, articles224 have appeared on its use in senile and arteriosclerotic patients, with somewhat contradictory results; the majority felt that it in some way stimulated the patients, reducing the confusion, and caused a general feeling of well being. The beneficial effects have been attributed to the increased metabolism in the brain. Giessen pointed out that pentylenetetrazol increases the cerebral circulation and the amount of oxygen taken up. On the basis of this supposition, it was decided to try pentylenetetrazol on different groups of retarded children

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