of their being impaired by the fits, as there is by the most trifling disease.
I have experienced this blessed effect of the shocks, without any exception, in about one hundred cases:
The stupid have assumed their former vivacity and cheerfulness, and have been restored to the full possession of their former mental abilities.
These effects are produced by passing the shock from the head to the feet.
If the fits cannot be finally cured, it will be necessary to electrify in this manner: to pass two or three shocks at least, from the forehead to the feet, as oft as every second, third,
or perhaps fourth fit, in order to preserve the mental faculties.
It will be easy to judge from observation of the patient, at what time it will be necessary to electrify.
When it is apparent, that general debility hath a part, at least, in constituting the paroxysm, I think it would be expedient to accompany the gentle shock with a high and constant insolation.
Depend not on insolating for an hour or two hours in a day; but let it be continued for months, if necessary:
there can be no satisfactory judgment made of the ultimate benefit of the supernatural or artificial insolation, in such obstinate cases, or any case of great debility,
unless the insolation be continued for a long time; and to effect this purpose, a large construction will be necessary, and the best of all, would be such an one as I have reoommended
(vide page 93, chap. 2d.) to be turned by
the assistance of a water-wheel.
The action of this invaluable principle of life, continued a lengthy time, must produce very valuable effects, in cases of deficient excitement:
and as it is taught by some notable writers, that epilepsy originates in debility, at least sometimes, I think it will be highly expedient to try the utmost
of the artificial insolation, in these obstinate cases of epilepsy.
Under a process or treatment by insolation, I do not advise to administer the shock, unless the symptoms of paroxysm may be discovered; or when there is no apparent
admonition to be observed, and the fits are nearly periodical; then to elictry as before described, beginning the operation,
as nigh as may be, two or three days previous to the paroxysm; and give about twelve or fifteen light shocks, in the several directions before named,
but let the last shocks be always given from head to feet.
This number of shocks, or perhaps one half this number in some cases, may be given daily, until the usual period of the fit is passed two or three days, or longer.
But the paroxysm should be constantly looked for, and the patient constantly observed, and the apparatus at hand; that if the symptoms cannot be observed, yet that the fit
may be instantly removed by a few light shocks.
I have observed, that when the shocks through the breast from a hand to hand, would not instantly recover a person from the spasm; I have passed the shock from
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