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What is lobotomy?


Lobotomy is a neurosurgical procedure popular in the 1940-50’s but currently used very infrequently. The rationale behind the lobotomy (or “leucotomy”) was to sever the connection between the preforntal cortex and the rest of the brain, but since this was before the advent of neuroimaging (CT or MRI), the doctors really had only a very vague idea of what exactly they were cutting.It was thought that frontal lobotomy could cure psychosis, butthe notion proved to be misguided. Frontal lobotomy “cured” the patient of psychosis by way of “curing” him/her of much of any cognitive ability and rendering the patient cognitively vacuous. In certain cases modified versions of frontal lobotomy are used today to treat a select number of severe conditionsresistant to other treatments. e.g. cingulotomy to treat severe intractable pain.

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