Saturday, November 21, 2009


I must give a shout out to WillBeFine who, despite all the twists and of BiPolar Daily(ish), now etcetera (ETC.... not ECT), still takes the time to post comments on my posts. And he made a pertinent point the other day. I wrote a post pondering how Pdocs discovered the off-label use
Lamictal (or Topamax) for BiPolar Disorder

WillBeFine pointed out the obvious answer:
"Take 1 person with epilepsy mix a dash of depression/bipolar and voila a drug that does 2 for the price of 1."

But now I'm going to pose a trickier one: How did PDocs discover the "off-label" use of giving people's head's sufficient electric shock to induce a convulsive seizure in order to eradicate depression and sometimes psychosis??

Does "off-label" even come into play here? Or was it "on-label" right from the beginning? Like... this guys got bad depression. lets see what happens if we put a powerful shock to his head???

I don't ask this lightly. I myself had 6 session's of ECT when I was 19 - to banish paranoid schizophrenic psychosis, it was said. They never really got my personal consent to go ahead with it - as I was obviously too psychotic to partake in the consent giving process.

I've been thinking a bit about it lately. For the past 18 months I've been getting these intense shock like sensations in my head in my sleep. A few months ago, I had one so bad that when I bolted upright, my teeth chattering like an AK47, Mrs M said I gotta go see somebody. So about 2 months ago, there was BPG, lying in the tube of an MRI scanner, so that about 20 plastic sheets of brain scans could be produced and sent to the Neurologist to determine the cause of this weird electrical activity in my brain. I'll speak about the verdict another time.


  1. Epilepsy was at the source of treatments again, this time with a dash of pig! If in doubt wiki it..

    "Origins of ECT

    ECT originated as a new form of convulsive therapy, rather than as a completely new treatment.[5] Convulsive therapy was introduced in 1934 by Hungarian neuropsychiatrist Ladislas J Meduna who, believing that schizophrenia and epilepsy were antagonistic disorders, induced seizures in patients with first camphor and then cardiazol. [6]

    Meanwhile in Rome, professor of neuropsychiatry Ugo Cerletti was doing research on epilepsy and using electric shocks to induce seizures in dogs.[7] Cerletti visited the Rome abbatoir where electric shocks were used to render pigs comatose prior to slaughter.[7] Inspired by the fact that the pigs were not actually killed by a current of 125 volts passed through the head for a few tenths of a second, he decided to experiment on a person.[7] In April 1938 Cerletti tried ECT for the first time on a man who had been brought to his clinic in a confused state by police.[7] The man was given a total of 11 treatments and recovered. It later emerged that he had had cardiazol treatment in another hospital three months previously. [7] Cerletti called his treatment "electroshock" and developed a theory that it worked by causing the brain the produce vital substances that he called "acro-agonines" (from the Greek for "extreme struggle"). He put his theory into practice by injecting patients with a suspension of electroshocked pig brain, with encouraging results. Electroshocked pig brain therapy was used by a few psychiatrists in Italy, France and Brazil but did not become as popular as ECT. [7] Cardiazol convulsion therapy was soon replaced by ECT all over the world. [7] Cerletti and Bini were nominated for a Nobel prize but did not get one."

  2. WBF: where the F did u find that out? You obviously have super-superior neb-searching powers. Fascinating find!

    I'm not sure if I should be happy about the findings, or sad. Its still got a brutal kind of feel to it.

    "by causing the brain to produce vital substances that he called "acro-agonines" (from the Greek for "extreme struggle")"

    Not sure "extreme struggle" is such a "therapeutic term" as in E.C.Therapy. But who knows, when I told the woman at the hospital who did my EEG (they had to check the possibility of epileptic "in-sleep" seizures too) that I'd had ECt previously, she didn't bat an eyelid. Said to me that it was pretty much like putting a shock to the heart when its having a heart attack. I suppose it is really the ultimate reality "jolt". The jury wanders in the wilderness....

  3. "history ect" was the first thing I put in Google, 2nd hit was the wiki I posted. No brainer really! I suppose a ECT brain free search!

    Never had ECT but when on a high I have had physical seizures were my legs have given way and my body temporarily locks up.

    I just feel with all these types of treatment nobody actually knows what is going on. I have an overwhelming sense that when stress is induced into certain individuals lives a pattern of behaviour kicks in causing the diagnosis of BiPolar/Depression.


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