[History of psychosurgery].

Nihon ishigaku zasshi. [Journal of Japanese history of medicine]

PubMedID: 11639762

Fujikura I. [History of psychosurgery]. Nihon Ishigaku Zasshi. 1993;39(2):217-22.
In 1935, Egas Moniz inaugurated a surgical procedure in the treatment of certain psychoses. By interrupting some of the connections between the prefrontal lobes and other parts of the brain, some benefits were brought to the psychotic individuals. He reported 20 cases of these procedures. The treatment of chronic psychotic patients by prefrontal leucotomy or lobotomy, was spread throughout the world by Walter Freeman. In Japan the psychosurgical operation was performed in 1939 by Nakada using prefrontal lobotomy. In April 1959, the 15th General Assembly of the Japan General Congress was held in Tokyo and the subject "Functional brain surgery" was taken up at one of the plenary sessions. In the early years, numerous operations were performed upon chronic disturbed psychotic patients who had not been relieved by various other somatic treatments in mental hospitals. Following the development of psychopharmacotherapy since the middle part of the 1950s marked decline in the number of psychosurgical operations was observed. Now this surgery has been interrupted because of the continued trouble faced by psychosurgery in Japan. Why did such a popularity and then a decline of psychosurgery occur in this short term?