Many people think psychosurgery is a thing of the past, and it’s true that lobotomies have become rare. However, psychosurgery is very much alive. Neurosurgeons are trying to rehabilitate the practice, and they may be succeeding.
Because of its dark history, psychosurgery has been restricted and forced to take a low profile. But in 2010, with a new name–“functional neurosurgery for psychiatric disease”–and new techniques like deep brain stimulation, some clinicians are predicting a comeback.
Psychosurgery is now being explored for everything from depression to addiction. In a two-part article, psychosurgery’s grim history–and quiet comeback–are explored.