lobotomy

A lobotomy is a surgical procedure that interrupts the nerves in the brain. Before the use of prescription drugs became wide-spread, a common treatment for severe mental illness was lobotomy.

The lobotomy was invented in 1935 and used fairly regularly for about twenty years to treat psychosis and other mental illnesses. It was always controversial, and once effective anti-psychosis medications were developed, it fell out of use. Lobotomy results in a calmed, but also often mentally dull patient. The word itself comes from the word lobe, as in a part of brain, combined with tomy, a medical suffix that means "a cutting."

Definitions of lobotomy
  1. noun
    surgical interruption of nerve tracts to and from the frontal lobe of the brain; often results in marked cognitive and personality changes
    synonyms: frontal lobotomy, leucotomy, leukotomy, prefrontal leucotomy, prefrontal leukotomy, prefrontal lobotomy
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    types:
    transorbital lobotomy
    a method of performing prefrontal lobotomy in which the surgical knife is inserted above the eyeball and moved to cut brain fibers
    type of:
    psychosurgery
    brain surgery on human patients intended to relieve severe and otherwise intractable mental or behavioral problems
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