Historical Remarks on the Discovery of ECT

  • Lothar B. Kalinowsky


It was a strange coincidence that the first three treatments which had a therapeutic impact on the functional psychoses, were discovered within three subsequent years: 1933 Insulin Coma Treatment, 1934 Convulsive Therapy, 1935 Psychosurgery. The only preceding successful treatment of a mental disorder had been Malaria treatment for general paresis which, however, had been directed only against the spirochetic invasion of the brain. When Wagner-von Jauregg published his first report here in Vienna and later received the Nobel Prize for it, this changed the nihilistic attitude in psychiatry, and it was perhaps not surprising that Sakel’s Insulin Coma Treatment, although he had conceived the idea in Berlin, also found its first clinical application here in Vienna.


Succinyl Choline Basic Science Research Spontaneous Seizure Convulsive Therapy Experimental Epilepsy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lothar B. Kalinowsky
    • 1
  1. 1.New York Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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