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April 1955

Prefrontal Leucotomy and Related Operations: Anatomical Aspects of Success and Failure

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(4):483-484. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330100115020

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This is the sort of monograph that takes ten years to write and fifty years to evaluate. Meyer and Beck receive leucotomized brains from all over England and selected 102 for their anatomical study. The other brains came from patients who died too soon for adequate clinical evaluation. The authors are quick to point out that there are many gaps in our knowledge; nevertheless, they have a number of answers to the pressing problems of topical and selective operations on the frontal lobes. Adequate operation is essential; otherwise, relapse is bound to occur. Too extensive operation is followed by severe personality alterations, and sometimes by grave trophic and uremic complications, leading to delayed postoperative death. The cases selected for this study comprised 6 with clinical recovery and 18 with improvement, for comparison with 38 that showed slight improvement and 40 that showed none. The authors divided the frontal lobe into