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THE INFLUENCE OF ELECTROCONVULSIVE TREATMENT ON BLOOD SUGAR, TOTAL NUMBER OF LEUCOCYTES AND LYMPHOCYTES
KARL STERN; BRIGITTE A. ASKONAS; ANDREA M. CULLEN
Am J Psychiatry 1949;105:585-588.
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The Gerontologic Unit, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University. This study was aided by a grant from the National Research Council of Canada.

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Abstract

The changes in blood sugar level, leucocyte count, and absolute lymphocyte count were studied in patients undergoing electric shock therapy. The blood sugar and white blood cell response to the injection of adrenalin was observed in 4 subjects.In all cases electric shock was associated with leucocytosis and lymphocytosis, and in the majority of cases (28 out of 34) a hyperglycemia was observed. The values returned to normal within an hour of treatment. On mathematical evaluation the findings were seen to be statistically significant.The type of response was not correlated to the underlying psychiatric conditions; where a series of treatments was followed in one single individual, the pattern of response was maintained throughout, irrespective of change in the psychiatric condition of the patient.The hyperglycemia appeared to be the result of autonomic stimulation, while the leucocytosis and lymphocytosis seemed due, at least in part, to the mechanical effect of muscular contraction.

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