Ladislas J. Meduna biography

Ladislas J. Meduna


1896 – 1964


Who was Ladislas J. Meduna?

Ladislas J. Meduna was a Hungarian neurologist and neuropathologist noted for his development of shock treatment for persons suffering from schizophrenia.

Meduna was born to a well-to-do family in Budapest, Hungary, in 1896. He studied medicine in Budapest from 1914 to 1921, his studies being interrupted by military service in the Italian front from 1915 to 1918.

He was appointed to the Hungarian Interacademic Institute for Brain Research, also in Budapest. He worked under the direction of Károly Schaffer. He studied the neuropathology of the structure and development of the pineal gland and of microglia, lead poisoning, and avitaminosis. In 1927 he moved to the Psychiatric Institute with Dr. Schaffer and began clinical and research work in psychopathology.

Meduna's interest in treating schizophrenia began with observations that the concentration of brain glia varied among patients who died with epilepsy and those with schizophrenia. He thought that the inductions of seizures in patients with schizophrenia would increase the concentration of glia and relieve the illness. The concept was supported by reports that the incidence of epilepsy in hospitalized patients with schizophrenia was extremely low; and that a few schizophrenic patients who developed seizures after infection or head trauma, were relieved of their psychosis.


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Also known as
  • Ladislas Meduna
  • Hungary

on July 23, 2013

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