Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Article   |    
UNIDIRECTIONAL ELECTROSTIMULATED CONVULSIVE THERAPY I. The Effect of Wave Form and Stimulus Characteristics on the Convulsive Dose
Am J Psychiatry 1942;99:218-223.
View Author and Article Information

Norwich State Hospital, Norwich, Conn.

text A A A
PDF of the full text article.

1. Unidirectional electrostimulation was therapeutically applied in convulsive doses to 176 hospitalized psychiatric patients. The present report covers 2,746 convulsive reactions induced through left temple (negative), vertex-of-skull (positive) electrode placements.2. The threshold convulsive dose, expressed in milliampere-seconds (product of intensity and duration of stimulation), was determined for four different types of unidirectional electrostimulation. The technique for obtaining threshold convulsive doses was described.3. Type A. 1. stimulation consisting of rectified waves at 60/sec., each wave lasting 1/120 sec. with intervals of 1/120 sec. was tried in 154 instances. Practically 68 per cent of the trials gave convulsive thresholds at 50 mA.-sec. or less, with 45 per cent requiring intensity level of 46-60 mA.4. Type A. 2. stimulation, designated as type A. 1. waves interrupted by a make commutator at 10/sec. giving rise to impulse bursts of 1/20 sec., was tried in 1,735 instances. In 83 per cent of the trials the convulsive dose was 50 mA.-sec. or less with 52 per cent in the 26-50 mA. sec. group and 31 per cent requiring 1-25 mA. sec. The intensity level was in the 16-30 mA. group in over 70 per cent of the trials.5. Type C. 2. stimulation is described as 10/sec. commutator interrupted type C. 1. wave form. Type C. 1. is a 60/sec., slightly smoothed (filtered) rectified wave form, each wave lasting 1/6o sec. with no interval. of the 270 convulsive doses by type C. 2. stimulation, 66 per cent occurred at 50 mA.-sec. or less, with the intensity level in the 16-30 mA. group in 72 per cent of the trials.6. Type C. 3. stimulation, described as the type C. 2. form further interrupted by rapid manipulation of the hand switch, was given 587 trials. Of these, practically all occurred at doses of 50 mA. sec. or less, with 80 per cent at 1-25 mA. sec. This markedly low convulsive dose more than offset the higher intensities required (46-90 mA. in 82 per cent of the trials).7. Unidirectional electrostimulation seemed to offer convulsive doses markedly less than required by techniques utilizing the alternating current.

Abstract Teaser
Figures in this Article

Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In to Access Full Content
Sign in via Athens (What is this?)
Athens is a service for single sign-on which enables access to all of an institution's subscriptions on- or off-site.
Not a subscriber?

Subscribe Now/Learn More

PsychiatryOnline subscription options offer access to the DSM-5 library, books, journals, CME, and patient resources. This all-in-one virtual library provides psychiatrists and mental health professionals with key resources for diagnosis, treatment, research, and professional development.

Need more help? PsychiatryOnline Customer Service may be reached by emailing PsychiatryOnline@psych.org or by calling 800-368-5777 (in the U.S.) or 703-907-7322 (outside the U.S.).




CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Related Content
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry, 4th Edition > Chapter 27.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 27.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 44.  >
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles