Medical practitioners have explored the potential uses of electricity as a form of treatment since the 1700s, when devices such as Leyden jars, friction machines and later the battery enabled the production and storage of static and current electricity. From the middle of the century, physicians and lay people such as John Wesley applied electricity to patients' bodies for a variety of complaints from tuberculosis to epilepsy.
Many of these treatments have been discarded, but simultaneously a wide range of new forms of electrotherapy have been developed. Today, methods used include muscle stimulation to rehabilitate weakened muscles, or to relieve muscle spasms; stimulation of the brain for neurological disorders; and the application of electric currents to facilitate the healing of wounds. While the positive effects of electricity on certain conditions has been proven empirically, in many cases scientists still cannot explain why this is the case.
Earliest and simplest device for storing static electricity, developed c.1745 in Leyden, Holland. The original electrical capacitor, it consists of a foil-lined glass jar partly filled with water and closed with a cork through which protrudes a brass rod wired to the foil. To charge the jar, friction is applied to the tip of the rod
An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.
A disorder of brain function characterized by seizures that occur suddenly. The seizures can be triggered by fast flashing lights, especially strobe lighting.