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Modern psychosurgery before Egas Moniz: a tribute to Gottlieb Burckhardt.

Abstract

The history of modern psychosurgery has been written in several ways, weaving around many pioneers in the field during the 19th century. Often neglected in this history is Gottlieb Burckhardt (1836-1907), who performed the first psychosurgical procedures as early as 1888, several decades before the work of Egas Moniz (1874-1955). The unconventional and original case series of Burckhardt, who claimed success in 50% of patients (3 of 6), had met with overt criticism from his contemporary medical colleagues. The authors describe 2 illustrative cases of cortical extirpation performed by Burckhardt and review his pioneering case series for surgical outcome, despite the ambiguity in postoperative evaluation criteria. Although Burckhardt discontinued the project after publication of his surgical results in 1891, neurosurgeons around the world continued to investigate psychosurgery and revitalized his ideas in 1910; psychosurgery subsequently developed into a full-fledged neurosurgical specialty.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Manjila S, Rengachary S, Xavier AR, Parker B, Guthikonda M

    Source

    Neurosurgical focus 25:1 2008 pg E9

    MeSH

    Adult
    Brain Diseases
    Cerebral Cortex
    Female
    History, 19th Century
    History, 20th Century
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Neurosurgery
    Neurosurgical Procedures
    Peer Review
    Postoperative Complications
    Psychosurgery
    Treatment Outcome

    Pub Type(s)

    Biography
    Historical Article
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18590386