Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2003 Apr;14(2):303-19, ix-x.

From psychosurgery to neuromodulation and palliation: history's lessons for the ethical conduct and regulation of neuropsychiatric research.

Author information

  • 1Division of Medical Ethics, Departments of Medicine and Public Health, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York-Weill Cornell Medical Center, 525 East 68th Street, F-173, New York, NY, USA.


As we contemplate the emerging era of neuromodulation and imagine the utility of deep brain stimulation for disease entities in neurology and psychiatry, our enthusiasm is immediately tempered by history. Just a generation ago, other confident investigators were heralding invasive somatic therapies like prefrontal lobotomy to treat psychiatric illness. That era of psychosurgery ended with widespread condemnation, congressional calls for a ban, and avow that history should never repeat itself. Now, just 30 years later, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and psychiatrists are implanting deep brain stimulators for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and contemplating their use for severe psychiatric illnesses, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and the modulation of consciousness in traumatic brain injury.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk