From Science News Letter, June 21, 1958

New Shock Treatment — Neither electric stimulation nor convulsion may be necessary components in the electroshock treatment of certain types of mental illness…. A group of 97 mental patients … were assigned at random to one of five treatment groups: 1. conventional electroshock therapy (EST); 2. a combination of EST and the drug, anectine; 3. EST and truth serum (pentothal); 4. pentothal alone, and 5. laughing gas (nitrous oxide) alone…. All types of treatment led to marked improvement in the patient as measured by psychiatric evaluations and psychological tests. There were no statistically significant differences in the benefit from variations of electroshock therapy and the anesthetics alone. These results suggest neither electrical stimulation nor convulsion is a necessary component of treatment, particularly for chronic schizophrenics.

From the Nature Index

Paid Content