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division of one or more nerve tracts in the prefrontal area of the brain for surgical treatment of pain and emotional disorder.
Synonym(s): prefrontal leukotomy
A lobotomy in which the white fibers that connect the thalamus to the prefrontal and frontal lobes of the brain are severed, formerly performed to treat behavior that was considered to be abnormal.
Etymology: L, prae + frons, forehead; Gk, lobos, lobe, temnein, to cut
a surgical procedure in which connecting fibers between the prefrontal lobes of the brain and the thalamus are severed. An archaic technique, it is rarely used today but formerly was an accepted procedure for treating schizophrenic patients with uncontrollable, destructive behavior. After surgery patients were often apathetic, docile, and lacking social graces and decision-making abilities of even the simplest kind. If only the white fibers are severed, the procedure is called a prefrontal leukotomy.
pre·fron·tal lo·bo·to·my(prē-frŭntăl lō-botŏ-mē)
Division of one or more nerve tracts in the prefrontal area of the brain for surgical treatment of pain and emotional disorder.