Lobotomy

FRANCIE: Paris wasn’t around. She was off yet again with the mystery man.

RORY: Jealous?

FRANCIE: Of Paris’s lobotomy victim? I think not.

Lobotomy, or leucotomy, a form of neurosurgical treatment for psychiatric or neurological disorder that involves severing connections in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The surgery causes most of the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain, to be severed.

In the past, this treatment was used for treating psychiatric disorders as a mainstream procedure in some countries. The procedure was controversial from its initial use, in part due to a lack of recognition of the severity and chronicity of severe and enduring psychiatric illnesses, so it was claimed to be an inappropriate treatment.

The use of the procedure increased dramatically from the early 1940s and into the 1950s; by 1951, almost 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States and proportionally more in the United Kingdom. More lobotomies were performed on women than on men: a 1951 study found that nearly 60% of American lobotomy patients were women. From the 1950s onward, lobotomy began to be abandoned as a psychiatric treatment.

Frontal lobe surgery, including lobotomy, is the second most common surgery for epilepsy to this day, and usually done on one side of the brain, unlike lobotomies for psychiatric disorder which were done on both sides of the brain.

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