lobotomy

/leuh bot"euh mee, loh-/, n., pl. lobotomies. Surg.
1. the operation of cutting into a lobe, as of the brain or the lung.

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Surgical procedure in which nerve pathways in a lobe or lobes of the brain are severed from those in other areas.

Introduced in 1935 by António Egas Moniz and Almeida Lima, it came to be used to help grossly disturbed patients. Favoured for patients who did not respond to shock therapy, it did reduce agitation but often caused increased apathy and passivity, inability to concentrate, and decreased emotional response. It was widely performed until с 1956, when drugs that were more effective in calming patients became available. Lobotomies are no longer performed; however, psychosurgery, the surgical removal of specific regions of the brain, is occasionally used to treat patients whose symptoms have resisted all other treatments.

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      surgical procedure in which the nerve pathways in a lobe or lobes of the brain are severed from those in other areas. The procedure formerly was used as a radical therapeutic measure to help grossly disturbed patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses. Lobotomy was introduced in 1935 by two Portuguese neurophysicians, António Egas Moniz and Almeida Lima. The practice was soon widely adopted, largely because there were few other viable therapeutic measures at the time for quieting chronically agitated, delusional, self-destructive, or violent patients.

      The lobotomy, or prefrontal leukotomy, involved severing the nerve pathways in the two frontal lobes of the brain, after entry to the brain had been achieved by boring two holes in the skull. This method was soon replaced by the transorbital lobotomy, in which a picklike instrument was forced through the back of the eye sockets to pierce the thin bone that separates the eye sockets from the frontal lobes; the pick's point was then inserted into the frontal lobes where the connections between the lobes were severed. A large proportion of such lobotomized patients exhibited reduced tension or agitation, but many also showed such effects as apathy, passivity, lack of initiative, poor ability to concentrate, and a generally decreased depth and intensity of their emotional response to life.

      Lobotomies were performed on a wide scale during the 1940s and up until about 1956, when antipsychotics, antidepressants, and other medications that were much more effective in treating and alleviating the distress of mentally disturbed patients came into use. Lobotomies are no longer performed; however, psychosurgery, the surgical removal of specific regions of the brain, is occasionally used to treat patients whose symptoms have resisted all other treatments.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lobotomy — n. (Med., Surgery) The surgical interruption of nerve tracts to and from the frontal lobe of the brain, by cutting into the brain. Syn: prefrontal lobotomy, prefrontal leucotomy. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lobotomy — 1936, coined from LOBE (Cf. lobe) (in the brain sense) + medical suffix TOMY (Cf. tomy). Figurative use is attested from 1953. Now I guess I ll have to tell em That I got no cerebellum [Ramones, Teenage Lobotomy, 1977] …   Etymology dictionary

  • lobotomy — ► NOUN (pl. lobotomies) ▪ a surgical operation involving incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain, formerly used to treat mental illness …   English terms dictionary

  • lobotomy — [lō bät′ə mē] n. pl. lobotomies [< LOBE + TOMY] a surgical operation in which a lobe of the brain, esp. the frontal lobe of the cerebrum, is cut into or across: now rarely used as a treatment for psychoses …   English World dictionary

  • Lobotomy — A lobotomy (Greek: lobos: Lobe of brain, tomos: cut/slice ) is a form of psychosurgery, also known as a leukotomy or leucotomy (from Greek leukos: clear or white and tomos meaning cut/slice ). It consists of cutting the connections to and from… …   Wikipedia

  • Lobotomy —    (from 1935)    Also called leukotomy. Although the Swiss psychiatrist and asylum director Gottlieb Burckhardt (1836–1907) had earlier made some tentative and quite unsuccessful efforts at operating on the brain for psychiatric indications (see …   Historical dictionary of Psychiatry

  • lobotomy — UK [ləʊˈbɒtəmɪ] / US [ləˈbɑtəmɪ] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms lobotomy : singular lobotomy plural lobotomies medical a medical operation in which part of someone s brain is removed as a way of treating serious mental illness …   English dictionary

  • lobotomy — Synonyms and related words: amygdalotomy, ankylotomy, arteriotomy, blepharotomy, caesarean, cardiotomy, celiotomy, cholecystotomy, cirsotomy, coccygotomy, colpotomy, craniotomy, cystotomy, embryotomy, enterotomy, gastroenterotomy, gastrotomy,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • lobotomy — [[t]ləbɒ̱təmi[/t]] lobotomies N VAR A lobotomy is a surgical operation in which some of the nerves in the brain are cut in order to treat severe mental illness. [MEDICAL] …   English dictionary

  • lobotomy n — I d rather have a full bottle in front of me than have a full frontal lobotomy …   English expressions

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