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Comment by Samuel Gershon

George Gardos: Discoveries which have not been followed up and experiments that could not be replicated - Samuel Gershon’s comment

In response to Dr Gardos’ article on "Discoveries not followed up” I would like to bring to attention my segment on acetylcholine on INHN’s website in Events and Memories which reports on experiments which clearly demonstrate a direct relationship between  alterations    in the level of acetylcholine  in the brain and mania and depression (Gershon 2015). The most dramatic clinical experiments clearly demonstrating this are the Maudsley experiments of Rowntree, Nevin and Wilson, published in 1950 and our similar findings published in Lancet in 1960 and 1961. Importantly Janowsky, El-Yousef, Davis and Sekerke dramatically demonstrated similar findings with their experiments using physostigmine (Janowsky et al 1972). I hope John Davis and Dave Janowsky can respond to these observations and provide further details.


Gershon SH. Events and Memories. 7. The etiology of bipolar disorder. A biochemical puzzle.. Acetylcholine, noreiephrin and serotonin. INHN. Biographies. 24.09.2015.

Gershon S, Shaw FH. Psychiatric sequelae of exposure to OP insecticides. Lancet 1960; 1:137- 4

Gershon S, Shaw FH. Psychiatric sequelae of chronic exposure to organophosphorus insecticides. Lancet: 1: 1371-4, 1961.

Janowsky DS, El-Yousef MK, Davis JM, Sekerke HJ. A cholinergic-adrenergic hypothesis of mania and depression. Lancet1972; 2: 632-5.   .

Rowntree DW, Nevin S, Wilson A. The effect of disipropylphosphonate in psychosis. J. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 1950; 47; 62.


Samuel Gershon
November 12, 2015