Jonathan Cole’s letter

E-mail exchange between Jay Amsterdam and Janusz Rybakowski


Jay Amsterdam’s e-mail to Max Fink and Tom Ban


Dear Janusz,


I may have written to you about this issue back in the early 2000s when I received a letter from Jonathan Cole.  I did not know of anyone in Russia who was treating depressed patients with insulin coma therapy (ICT). However, I did know of you and I would have written to you to see if you could be helpful to me in providing Jonathan with the answer to his query about current (in the 1990s and 2000s) use of ICT in Eastern Europe.

Alas, I no longer have any of Jonathan’s other items that he mentions that he sent to me; and the letters that I have from you do not mention anything about ICT.

It also appears from Jonathan’s letter that he was wondering if I thought that there might be some endocrine marker (beside the DST) that might show how ICT may facilitate  antidepressant effect. I recently re-read the chapter that Mady and I wrote to see if I could find a neuroendocrine connection with ICT; however, I could not find anything that I thought may be a neuroendocrine probe.

Tom Ban (and perhaps Max Fink) is quite keen to revisit this issue for posting on the INHN web-site. Thus, I have also attached the chapter that Jonathan and Tom make reference to from Owen Wolkowitz’ book.

Do you have any thoughts on the issue of neuroendocrine markers and ICT from the attached (or other) sources? If so, I would be very interested in knowing them; and perhaps writing a reply to Max Fink’s recent commentary on the Jonathan Cole letter that was posted several weeks ago on INHN.

As ever, I send you my warmest, personal greetings and affection,



From: <>
Sent: Sunday, March 3, 2019 5:12 AM

To: Amsterdam, Jay

Subject: RE: [External] Fink's comment on Cole's letter


Dear Jay,


Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately, I do not have any knowledge on the ICT except for reminding that this therapy was used in Poland (Lublin) in 1960.

Presently, I am waiting for announcing the date of the ISBD meeting in 2020 which is going to be held in Chicago.

God willing, I would plan to go to this conference, and, after this, to drop for several days to Philly, to visit my old friends.

Best greetings: Janusz


Dear Max and Tom:


Although a little belated (by about 2 decades, I again followed up on Jonathan’s letter to me (posted recently in the INHN) RE possible neuroendocrine mechanisms of ICT in depression. I am almost certain that I previously wrote to Janusz Rybakowski (see below) about this issue on behalf of Jonathan. I think that Janusz must have given me the same answer, back then (although I no longer have these correspondence). Nevertheless, Janusz does know something about the use of ICT in Poland in the 1960s, and this may be of interest to you from an historical viewpoint.




July 11, 2019