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August 1949

ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC CHANGES AFTER PREFRONTAL LOBOTOMY: With Particular Reference to the Effect of Lobotomy on Sleep Spindles

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine.

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;62(2):150-161. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310140027002

THERE are relatively few reports on electroencephalographic changes following lobotomy.1 Most reports2 are in agreement that electroencephalographic slowing occurs after lobotomy, that it is most prominent anterior to the plane of incision and that the degree of slowing decreases within the first few months after operation. Electroencephalographic changes are not correlated with the psychiatric clinical condition,1d but may be correlated with seizure phenomena. An abnormal preoperative electroencephalogram increases the chances that a patient will have convulsions postoperatively,1e and the postoperative electroencephalographic abnormality may become more rather than less pronounced in patients in whom seizures develop.1c Cohn attributed the postoperative slowing to brain injury, whereas Stevens and Moscovich1d attribute it to the interruption of corticothalamocortical impulses.

Our interest in the effect of lobotomy on the electroencephalogram in human beings was aroused by the report of Morison and Bassett,3 who describe bursts, trains or spindles

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