trephination

A fascinating look at primitive and ancient medicine by medical historian and classical scholar Plinio Prioreschi, MD, PhD

Journal/Website: 
Surgical Neurology International
Article Type: 
Book Review
Published Date: 
Monday, May 25, 2015

Plinio Prioreschi, MD, PhD (1930–2014), the author of this monumental series of tomes on the history of medicine was an accomplished scholar — i.e., physician, scientist, linguist (of classical and several modern languages), pharmacologist, medical historian, and ethicist, as well as thinker, although he did not necessarily claim all of these accomplishments. Prioreschi completed his MD (1954) at the University of Pavia, Italy, and his PhD (1961) in experimental medicine at the University of Montreal.

Neolithic trepanation decoded — A unifying hypothesis: Has the mystery as to why primitive surgeons performed cranial surgery been solved?

Journal/Website: 
Surgical Neurology International
Article Type: 
Editorial
Published Date: 
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Abstract — The perplexing mystery of why so many trephined skulls from the Neolithic period have been uncovered all over the world representing attempts at primitive cranial surgery is discussed. More than 1500 trephined skulls have been uncovered throughout the world, from Europe and Scandinavia to North America, from Russia and China to South America (particularly in Peru). Most reported series show that from 5-10% of all skulls found from the Neolithic period have been trephined with single or multiple skull openings of various sizes.

Violence, mental illness, and the brain — A brief history of psychosurgery: Part 1 — From trephination to lobotomy

Journal/Website: 
Surgical Neurology International
Article Type: 
Article
Published Date: 
Friday, April 5, 2013
Source: 
http://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint_articles/violence-mental-illness-and-the-brain-a-brief-history-of-psychosurgery-part-1-from-trephination-to-lobotomy/

Abstract — Psychosurgery was developed early in human prehistory (trephination) as a need perhaps to alter aberrant behavior and treat mental illness. The “American Crowbar Case" provided an impetus to study the brain and human behavior. The frontal lobe syndrome was avidly studied. Frontal lobotomy was developed in the 1930s for the treatment of mental illness and to solve the pressing problem of overcrowding in mental institutions in an era when no other forms of effective treatment were available. Lobotomy popularized by Dr.