Petre Tomescu harmine in catatonia

Petre Tomescu was born on November 4, 1890, in Vălenii de Munte, in the county of Ploieti, Romania. After he received his MD from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bucharest and completed his internship, Tomescu became Lecturer in Alexandru Obregia’s Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at his Alma Mater. In 1929, Karl Beringer noted that harmine may have a place in the treatment of Parkinsonism and in 1930, Tomescu reported improvement in muscle rigidity in three catatonic patients with harmine that was reversed after discontinuation of the substance.  In 1934, Tomescu succeeded Obregia as Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University; in 1940, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine; and in 1941, he moved to the Ministry of Health. Petre Tomescu died in 1977. He was 87 years old. 


Beringer K. Zur Banisterin-und Harminfrage. Nervenarzt 1929; 2:548–9.

Hostiuc S, Buda O, Ion DA. Harmine for catatonic schizophrenia. A forgotten

experiment. Schizophrenia Research 2014;159:249-50.

Tomescu P, Russu E. Cercetări experimentale referitoare la ac iunea terapeutică a Harminei asupra sindromului catatonic. (Experimental research on the therapeutic action of  Harmine on the catatonic syndrome). Revista Spitalul 1930: 6.


Antonio E. Naardi
June 4, 2015