Convulsive therapy for dementia praecox was first used by the Hungarian
neuropsychiatrist Ladislas Meduna in January 1934. On the 50th anniversary
the author discusses the introduction of the treatment, the role of a
theory of the biological antagonism between epilepsy and schizophrenia, and
the contributions of Meduna, Sakel, Cerletti, and Bini. He also describes
the changes in usage and methods and the impact of psychotropic drugs on
the practice of convulsive therapy.