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December 9, 1950

Studies in Lobotomy

JAMA. 1950;144(15):1317. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920150091031

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This book is a careful scientific evaluation of prefrontal lobotomy in an extensive series of cases at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital. The 500 patients were not only specifically selected on the basis of three to five years' hospitalization, but were also subjected to intensive clinical, anatomic, psychological and sociologic investigations preoperatively and postoperatively, by 30 different contributors comprising all the specialties related to neurology, neuropsychiatry and neurological surgery. The majority of the cases represented long-standing cases of schizophrenia with little probability of recovery by any other means of psychiatric treatment. It was concluded that through prefrontal lobotomy by the "open" method, approximately 40 per cent are benefited, in that they can live outside the hospital, and 20 per cent can be relatively self sufficient and self supporting. A high proportion of the remaining 60 per cent live a more satisfying and contented life in institutions.

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