Leukotomy and aging in chronic schizophrenia: A followup study 40 years after psychosurgery

Philip D. Harvey*, Richard C. Mohs, Michael Davidson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many followup studies have found that frontal leukotomy does not lead to marked changes in behavioral or cognitive functions in patients with chronic schizophrenia. However, these studies left open the issue of whether aging interacts with frontal lobe lesions in some way. This study examined 24 elderly schizophrenia patients who had experienced a bifrontal leukotomy and 48 subjects who were similar to the leukotomized patients in age, gender, chronicity, and overall severity of cognitive impairment. Clinical ratings of schizophrenic symptoms and cognitive deficits were obtained, as was a neuropsychological evaluation. Very few cognitive effects of leukotomy were noted, although clinically rated deficits in self-care were more severe in the leukotomized sample. These findings again suggest that the cognitive effects of frontal leukotomy procedures are limited and imply that aging does not interact substantially with leukotomy in patients with chronic schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-732
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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