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March 1957

Asynchronism of Electrical Activity of Frontal Lobes During SleepA Late Sequel of Frontal Lobotomy

Author Affiliations


From the Logansport State Hospital, Logansport, Ind., and the Department of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(3):237-242. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330330023002

Patients subjected to frontal lobotomy may show after operation focal slow activity and seizure discharges. Such changes are to be expected from local cortical trauma and as an irritative reaction to injury. However, they are neither inevitable nor characteristic results of frontal lobotomy. In many cases, as will be shown in this report, the waking electroencephalogram remains normal. Lennox and Coolidge1 have reported an absence of frontal sleep spindles as a sequel of frontal lobotomy. In our experience the change, if any, consists of a reduction of frontal sleep spindles; in most cases this reduction is so slight as hardly to be evident even after close comparisons of pre- and postoperative recordings.

We have observed an electroencephalographic alteration after frontal lobotomy which is constant and characteristic, but it takes many months to develop. We are now reporting this for the first time in print* because we have only recently