The early years of the frontal lobotomy

Neurosurgical Focus has an excellent open-access article that takes a critical look at the work of the Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz – who controversially won the 1949 Nobel prize for inventing the frontal lobotomy.

Although the over-enthusiasm for cutting patients’ frontal lobes to try and ‘cure’ them of mental illness is now looked upon as rather an embarrassing phase in the history of medicine, the article makes clear that criticism of the technique – including Moniz’s sloppy research – has been around for as long as the operation itself.

The article is a comprehensive look at the early history of frontal lobotomy and psychosurgery in general and is a wonderful guide to the long-standing controversies surrounding the procedure.

Link to Neurosurgical Focus on the early history of psychosurgery.

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