Manfred Joshua Sakel (1900-1957) was a Polish neurophysiologist and psychiatrist most famous for discovering Insulin Shock Therapy, a treatment for schizophrenia and other diseases. He was born on June 6, 1900 in Nadvorna, in the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna from 1919 to 1925.
While working in Vienna in 1927, Sakel discovered that schizophrenic patients that were administered an overdose of insulin had greatly reduced symptoms. This was because of the low level of glucose in the blood, a condition known as hypoglycemia. This treatment became known as Insulin Shock Therapy (or Insulin Coma Therapy), and it was also useful in treating other disorders such as anorexia and morphine addiction. It was used worldwide for about 40 years.
His research at the university's Neuropsychiatry Clinic, which he started in 1933, was interrupted when the National Socialist Party came to power in 1936. Sakel emigrated to the United States and became an attending physician and researcher at the Harlem Valley State Hospital. He died on December 2, 1957 in New York City.