11 May 2019

11th May 1857 - Bromide treats Epilepsy


On 11th May 1857 Sir Charles Locock first described the successful use of potassium bromide therapy in sixteen cases of epilepsy. Bromide was known to reduce sexual libido. (There have been more recent urban myths that bromide gets added to the tea of the army to cut down army sex drives.) Locock thought that the chemical compound helped with epilepsy because it led to temporary impotence and stopped sexual excitement which he thought caused seizures. He may not have known how it worked but the chemical was used with some success in the 19th century and into the 20th century until better treatments were found. Potassium Bromide was not ideal as it stays in the body a long time, and is toxic over time. Later on it was found that epilepsy was accompanied by a nervous discharge in the brain.

Thankyou to today in psychology history for the date.

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