Great history of brain surgery programme online

The BBC has just begun broadcasting a fantastic series called Blood and Guts on the history of surgery with the first episode on neurosurgery. If you live in the UK you can watch it again on the BBC iPlayer for a few days more, or otherwise, it has appeared online as a torrent.

It’s not the most coherent trip through the history of neurosurgery, more a collection of highlights (or, in some cases, lowlights), but it’s very well made and has some fantastic historical footage and interviews with modern neurosurgeons.

It covers Harvey Cushing, Phineas Gage, Jos√© Delgado, Walter Freeman and the frontal lobotomy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation and the cutting edge of brain surgery today. There’s a particularly interesting bit where lobotomy survivor Howard Dully has a brain scan and you can see the effect of his operation.

If you’re still hungry for more, BBC News website has an article and video clip of neurosurgery while the patient is conscious, and you can even buy the book of the series.

Link to BBC iPlayer archive (for 7 days).
Link to torrent of Blood and Guts brain surgery episode.

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