Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Article   |    
Am J Psychiatry 1951;108:328-336.
text A A A
PDF of the full text article.

A report is presented on a series of 600 cases of prefrontal lobotomy done by a modification of the Lyerly technique. This series has been operated by the same surgeon and followed throughout by the same psychiatrists. The authors feel that the operation is therapeutically active, and is useful and practicable. The psychiatric response has so far been found to be stable and progressive. No late deteriorative or other late unfavorable psychic effects have been noted. About 1% of the patients are considered psychiatrically worse after the operation. "Personality changes" have not been a practical problem and complaints that could be classed in this category have been infrequent, of minor significance, and have tended to disappear in the course of the first year or two postoperatively. Schizophrenic defect states of the usual pattern and distribution have been noted. Spontaneous postlobotomy convulsions have not been found to exert a favorable clinical effect, although lobotomy patients show the usual symptomatic response to convulsions induced by electric shock. Spontaneous convulsions tend to occur in groups and seem to be more frequent in catatonic patients than in others(1).Nonschizophrenic cases represented approximately 10% of the operated series of 600 and 12% of the releases of the entire series. Release rates for patients of 3 years or less of hospital residence were definitely better than those of longer hospital residence, and it was also found that the quality of remission was less satisfactory in older cases. A very important effect of the operation, behavior improvement, developed in even the most chronic cases although in smaller proportion than in less chronic ones. Approximately two-thirds of all operated cases remaining in the hospital showed material improvement in such behavior disorder as aggressiveness, destructiveness, wetting, soiling, homosexual behavior on a psychotic level, refusal of food, etc.After a period of postoperative observation that now ranges from 1 to 4 years, it appears that approximately one-third of all operated cases have been able to return to their homes and to remain there. This proportion is very much higher than what one could expect from a group of unoperated cases of similar clinical picture, similar duration of hospital residence, and similar diagnosis.Prefrontal lobotomy was carried out for clear-cut indications in one case of moderately advanced postencephalitic parkinsonism, one general paretic, one case of muscular dystrophy, one mild case of congenital cerebral palsy.The psychiatric response of these cases was not notably different from that seen in "functional cases" with regard to psychotic manifestations, and in no case was there any intensification of the primary organic condition. No beneficial effects were noted after lobotomy in 2 cases of primary psychopathic behavior.

Abstract Teaser
Figures in this Article


Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In to Access Full Content
Sign in via Athens (What is this?)
Athens is a service for single sign-on which enables access to all of an institution's subscriptions on- or off-site.
Not a subscriber?

Subscribe Now/Learn More

PsychiatryOnline subscription options offer access to the DSM-5 library, books, journals, CME, and patient resources. This all-in-one virtual library provides psychiatrists and mental health professionals with key resources for diagnosis, treatment, research, and professional development.

Need more help? PsychiatryOnline Customer Service may be reached by emailing PsychiatryOnline@psych.org or by calling 800-368-5777 (in the U.S.) or 703-907-7322 (outside the U.S.).




CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Related Content
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 3.  >
Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry > Chapter 27.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 48.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 48.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 48.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles