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Electricity and mental disease
In the late 1700s, Italian physician Dr. Luigi Galvani discovered that frog muscles reacted electrically when exposed to certain metals - which led to the notion that nerve pulses are electrical charges. One day, Galvani’s cousin, Dr. Giovanni Aldani, convinced French asylums to let him treat hopelessly depressed patients with electricity.
By the 1850s, electricity was widely used to treat psychiatric ailments - and would eventually turn into electroconvulsive therapy nearly a century later. This photo shows a man receiving static sparks to the spine for psychosis from tabes dorsalis, a degenerative nerve condition brought on by syphilis.