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

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Abstract

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 prefontal lobotomy to treat psychiatric illness. That era of psychosurgery ended with widespread condemnation, congressional calls for a ban, and a vow 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-319
Number of pages17
JournalNeurosurgery clinics of North America
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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