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May 12, 1951

ITALY

JAMA. 1951;146(2):212. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670020134022
Abstract

Psychosurgery.  —At the Medical Academy of Pistoja, at which Professor Cantieri presided, Professor Noto presented a report on prefrontal lobotomy for treatment of mental diseases and intractable pain. The speaker noted that only the fibers emerging from the dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus reach the prefrontal lobe, transmitting to the cortex the affective impulses. The thalamus is the organ of affective life, and it is there that sensations receive the emotional charge. The frontal lobe is the cerebral area where the highest intellectual functions, such as thinking, social education, ethical sense, discrimination and foresight, have their seat. When one severs the nervous fibers that connect the dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus with prefrontal areas, delirium, hallucinations and preoccupations lose their emotional charge and with it their strength.Various technics have been devised to interrupt the transmission of impulses, e. g., leukotomy, lobotomy, topectomy and electrocoagulation of the dorsomedial nucleus of

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