Lobotomy, also known as leukotomy, is a neurosurgery that permanently damages part of the frontal lobe of the brain. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Introduced in the mid-20th century, lobotomy has always been controversial, but has been widely used for over 20 years as a treatment for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, manic depression, and bipolar disorder.
Lobotomy was a collective term for a series of different surgeries that deliberately damage brain tissue to treat mental illness, said Dr. Baron Lerner, a medical history and professor at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. ..
“Action [doctors] “I thought it was a neurological connection that I was trying to fix,” Lerner told Live Science.
When lobotomy was invented, there was no good way to treat mental illness, and people were “quite desperate” for all kinds of interventions, Lerner said. Still, he added that there was always criticism of the procedure.
When was your first lobotomy?
Even before the first lobotomy, doctors were manipulating their brains to change their behavior. Since the late 1880s, Swiss doctor Gottlieb Burckhardt has removed part of the cortex of the brain of patients with symptoms of mania excitement, auditory hearing, and schizophrenia. Burkhardt, in a 1891 paper, suffered from complications such as motor weakness, sensory aphasia (inability to understand speech, writing, and tactile symbols) and epilepsy, although one patient died five days after surgery. Said that the surgery calmed the patient. In 2008 In the Journal of Neurosurgery..
Portuguese neurologist Antonio Egas Moniz is said to have officially invented lobotomy in 1935 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1949 (then the movement to revoke the award began. But failed).
Moniz’s breakthrough was inspired by a lobotomy-like procedure performed by Yale University neuroscientist John Fulton and his colleague Carlyle Jacobsen on chimpanzees. They removed the frontal lobes of both female chimpanzees, who had previously shown anger and frustration if they made a mistake while performing the task in the experiment.After surgery, chimpanzees became more supportive and showed no signs of frustration, scientists said in 2014. Singapore Medical Journal..
Later that year, Moniz and his colleague Almeida Lima conducted the first human lobotomy experiment on 20 people. Doctors targeted the patient’s frontal lobe because that brain region is associated with behavior and personality.
According to an article published in 2011, Moniz reported surgery for successfully treating patients with conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, panic disorder, and mania. Neurosurgery Journal.. However, surgery had serious side effects such as elevated body temperature, vomiting, bladder and bowel incontinence, eye problems, lethargy, lethargy, and hunger. The medical community was initially critical of this procedure, but nevertheless, doctors began using it in countries around the world.
How is Lobotomy performed?
In Moniz’s first lobotomy procedure, he pierced the skull and injected ethanol into the brain to destroy the fibers that connect the frontal lobe to other parts of the brain. Later, Moniz developed a surgical instrument called the Leukotome. It contains a retractable loop of wire that, when rotated, cuts a circular lesion of brain tissue.
Italian and American doctors were early adopters of lobotomy. US neurosurgeons Walter Freeman and James Watts first performed this procedure in the United States in 1937, creating “nine cores in the white matter of each frontal lobe” in a 59-year-old patient.journal Lancet.. They adopted Moniz’s technology to create “Freeman Watt Technology” or “Freeman Watt Standard Prefrontal Lobotomy”. In this lobotomy, a surgeon pierced a patient’s skull, inserted a knife and rotated it to destroy brain cells and target connections between parts. A gray matter structure towards the center of the brain in the areas of the frontal lobe and thalamus, New York Times I wrote in Dr. Watts’s obituary in 1994.
“Freeman believed that mental illness was the result of excessive introspection. The idea was repeated over and over again,” said Miriam Posner, an assistant professor at UCLA’s Information Research Division, in 2019. Said at the National Library of Medicine. History of medicine lecture series At the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
“He was literal when he said that lobotomy was a way to break the endless circulation of thoughts in the brain,” Posner said.
Italian psychiatrist Amarro Fiamberti has developed a procedure for accessing the frontal lobe from the orbit. The procedure urges Freeman to develop a transorbital lobotomy in 1945.This is a method that does not require a traditional surgeon or operating room, and researchers reported in a journal in 2019. Neuroscience Frontier.. The technique used an instrument called the orbit (an elongated instrument modeled after an ice pick) that was inserted into the patient’s orbit by a doctor using a hammer. The device is then moved left and right to separate the frontal lobe from the thalamus, the part of the brain that receives and relays sensory inputs.
Transsolvital lobotomy did not require anesthesia and could be performed faster than standard lobotomy. As a result, according to a 2019 survey, surgeons in Europe and the United States have performed these procedures tens of thousands of times over the next 20 years. According to the Times obituary, Freeman himself performed at least 3,000, and in some cases 5,000, lobotomy.
“He traveled all over the country and did multiple lobotomy a day,” Lerner said. “He absolutely did this for too long.” Freeman did his last lobotomy in 1967. It was his third such procedure for a patient, a woman named Helen Mortensen, NPR reports.. According to NPR, she soon died of a cerebral hemorrhage and Freeman was banned from surgery.
What happens after a lobotomy?
Lobotomy has had a negative effect on many patients, although very few people appear to have improved or not changed their mental state at all. correct, Initiatives, restraints, empathy, and the ability to function on their own, according to Learner.
“The main long-term side effect was mental dullness,” Lerner said. He added that people could no longer live independently and they lost their personality.
Mental hospitals have played an important role in the spread of lobotomy. At that time, there were hundreds of thousands of mental hospitals, and it was crowded and chaotic. By giving lobotomy to unruly patients, doctors can maintain control of the facility, Lerner said.
It’s exactly what was unfolded in the 1962 novel and the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” It makes him silent, unresponsive, and keeps his eyes open.
“Usually, the content of the movie is exaggerated,” Lerner said. But in this case, it was “worrisomely real,” he said.
Is Lobotomy taking place today?
Lobotomy became less popular in the 1950s as its unwanted side effects became more well known. According to a neuroscience frontier study, the doctor who performed the lobotomy was not a neurosurgeon and neglected to report negative results in many patients, with an overall “lack of scientific rigor”. There was growing criticism of the procedure among medical professionals who said.
“It was also revealed that patients admitted to some institutions or incapacitated were lobotomized without informed consent, and prisoners were asked to deal with dysfunctional behavior as opposed to mental illness. The procedure may have been performed, “the study authors reported.
By the mid-1950s, scientists had developed psychotherapeutic agents such as the antipsychotic drug chlorpromazine. It was far more effective and safer in treating mental illness than lobotomy. Today, mental illness is primarily treated with drugs and psychotherapy. If drug therapy or talk therapy is ineffective, people may be treated with electroconvulsive therapy. This is a procedure that applies an electric current to the brain to cause a short seizure. Mayo Clinic..
Lobotomy is rarely done today. If so, “it’s a much more elegant procedure,” Lerner said. “You are not going to take an ice pick or play with monkeys around.” Removal of certain brain areas (psychosurgery) is reserved to treat patients who have failed all other treatments. It has been.
Additional lobotomy resources
This article was updated on October 13, 2021 by Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer of Live Science.
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