Psychosurgery is a term for surgeries of the brain involving procedures that modulate the performance of the brain, and thus effect changes in cognition, with the intent to treat or alleviate severe mental illness. Historically, the procedure typically considered psychosurgery, prefrontal leukotomy is now almost universally shunned as inappropriate, due in part to the emergence of less-invasive or less-objectionable methods of treatment such as psychiatric medication and modified electroconvulsive therapy. In modern neurosurgery however, more minimally invasive techniques like gamma knife irradiation and foremost deep brain stimulation has arisen as a novel tool for psychosurgery.
BBC - Radio 4 - Brain Surgery to Cure the Mind - Brain surgery to treat people with psychiatric illness was virtually abandoned half a century ago, but recent progress in neuroscience is igniting renewed interest in this field. [28:55 streaming audio broadcast]
Meta Description: [ Brain surgery to treat people with psychiatric illness was virtually abandoned half a century ago. But recent progress in neuroscience is igniting renewed interest in this field. ]
Better To Have a Bottle In Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy - Bryn Mawr student's paper about lobotomies.
Father of the Lobotomy - Review of a Washington Post article about Walter Freeman.
Meta Description: [ From the files of the weird, Walter Freeman, father of the lobotomy. ]
Nobelprize.org - Controversial Psychosurgery Resulted in a Nobel Prize - Very long scholarly article describing lobotomies, who got them, and why.
NPR : 'My Lobotomy': Howard Dully's Journey - Over the past two years, Howard Dully, 56, has worked to discover the story behind the procedure he received as a 12-year-old boy: a transorbital or ice-pick lobotomy. He interviews the son of the infamous doctor who did the procedure, examines his medical records, and talks to his dad about it. [22:49 in length, available via streaming audio or as mp3 file).
Meta Description: [ Over the past two years, Howard Dully, 56, has embarked on a quest to discover the story behind the procedure he received as a 12-year-old boy: a transorbital or ice-pick lobotomy. ]
Psychosurgery - Massachusetts General Hospital - Explores the historical background of psychosurgery and discusses the anatomic and physiologic basis for such procedures. Guidelines for the appropriate selection of surgical candidates is presented and the four most common psychosurgical procedures practiced today are described. Finally, the overall experience including indications, results and complications for each procedure is reviewed and compared.
Psychosurgery.org - This website tells the stories of people affected by having lobotomies done to them and works to educate about the procedure.
Rotten.com - Lobotomy - Story taking a very pessimistic view of lobotomies.
Sabbatini, R.M.E.: The History of Psychosurgery - Long article published in Brain Mind Magazine, 1(2), June/August 1997.
The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness - Book review by a professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.