The Nobel Prize That Shouldn't Have Been Given
In his time, António Egas Moniz was considered a brilliant neurologist. Today, however, we know that his lobotomy procedure is an inhumane treatment that intended to make the mentally ill into docile citizens. Moniz theorized that mental illness was caused by nerve cells that couldn't communicate properly and caused people to become stuck in pathological symptoms. He developed the lobotomy to try and sever the nerve fibers that he presumed facilitated mental disorders. After experimenting on several patients, he reported that they did indeed improve, though they seemed to also lose crucial elements of their personality and creativity.
Key Facts In This Video
In 1949, António Egas Moniz was given a Nobel Prize for developing the lobotomy. (0:38)
António Egas Moniz theorized that mental illness was caused by malfunctioning synapses in the frontal cortex. (4:08)
After World War II ended, and thousands of soldiers returned to American with PTSD, the number of lobotomies performed annually grew from 100 to 5,000. (6:31)