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The Lobotomy

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The lobotomy is a type of neurosurgery or surgery performed on the brain, known as psychosurgery. The idea behind psychosurgery is to cure severe forms of mental illnesses by changing the way of the brain works. The procedure formerly was used as a radical therapeutic measure to help grossly disturbed patients with schizophrenia, manic depression and mania, and other mental illnesses. The scientists concluded that the frontal lobe of the human brain was the major cause of the mental illnesses, so they thought to be able to change a person’s personalities, we need to change the way of the frontal lobe works.

In the 1890s, the Swiss physician Gottlieb Burkhardt removed parts of the cortex of the brains of patients with auditory hallucinations and other symptoms of schizophrenia, noting that it made them calm. Then about half a century later, António Egas Moniz, the Portuguese neurologist who receives the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1949, created the lobotomy. Then Walter Freeman, the pioneer of lobotomy in America, first did the lobotomy on the dead body by using an ice pick, which let his method known as "ice pick lobotomy." Later on when he began to do the transorbital lobotomy on patients. Then because of its result after the surgery had come out as success, it then was being proclaimed as a miracle cure for mental illness, and its use had been widespread; during its time in the 1940s and ’50s, the lobotomy was performed on some 40,000 patients in the United States, and on around 10,000 in Western Europe. The procedure became popular because there was no substitute, and because it was seen to assuage several social disasters, such as overcrowding in mental hospitals, and the increasing cost of caring for patients who had the mental illness.

When Walter Freeman began to do transorbital lobotomy to patients, he used a stronger version of a leucotome that resembled with the ice pick, called an orbitoclast. After going through the top of the eye socket, Walter could enter the brain just by tapping lightly on the orbitoclast with a hammer to break through the thin layer of bone. Then he rotated it to cut through the fibers. After pulling out the orbitoclast, the procedure was repeated

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