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October 1954


AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;72(4):399-425. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02330040001001

THE AIM of this investigation was to find a way of producing the desirable effects of a prefrontal lobotomy with minimal and reasonably well-controlled damage to the brain substance. Most of the serious and unpredictable complications following lobotomies are due either to excessive and misplaced sectioning* or to the hemorrhage, necrosis, and degeneration occurring in proximity to the operative site.† It appeared essential, therefore, to avoid actual cutting of the frontal lobes and to eliminate extensive trauma caused by the aspiration needle and the thermocautery. Theoretically, it seemed possible to achieve this result with ultrasound. Because of insufficient data regarding the effects of high frequency, high intensity sound on brain tissue, this problem was first studied in experimental animals. The results, some of which will be reported here, seemed to justify a clinical trial, and a technique was developed for irradiation of the human prefrontal lobes with ultrasound as a