Abraham Lincoln

Recent research suggests that the U.S. President may have suffered from this mysterious neurological disease.  For nearly twenty years, people who have a kinship to Abraham Lincoln have been gathering for reunions in Indiana, Iowa, and Kentucky – and medical researchers have been there along with them.The last known photo taken of Abraham Lincoln before…

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St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C., c. 1930

Sometimes I find that a tale does not belong in a book or article I am writing, but it is too good to forget. This is one such example. On March 19, 1945, Walter J. Freeman, M.D., the subject of my book The Lobotomist who popularized and developed the psychosurgical procedure known as the lobotomy, paged open the…

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In 2010 we saw no big celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the development of psychiatric surgery — not even in Portugal, where the first brain operations to treat psychiatric disorders, eventually leading to lobotomies, were performed. But the passing of the anniversary offers a good reason to wonder: How would someone come up with the…

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