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Marc Zanello and Johan Pallud

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Corey Raffel

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Johan Pallud and Emmanuel Mandonnet

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Johan Pallud, Emmanuel Mandonnet and Hugues Duffau

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Johan Pallud and Sophie Peeters

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Giacomo Bertolini, Francesco Restelli, Morgan Broggi and Paolo Ferroli

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Marc Zanello, Johan Pallud, Nicolas Baup, Sophie Peeters, Baris Turak, Marie Odile Krebs, Catherine Oppenheim, Raphael Gaillard and Bertrand Devaux

Sainte-Anne Hospital is the largest psychiatric hospital in Paris. Its long and fascinating history began in the 18th century. In 1952, it was at Sainte-Anne Hospital that Jean Delay and Pierre Deniker used the first neuroleptic, chlorpromazine, to cure psychiatric patients, putting an end to the expansion of psychosurgery. The Department of Neuro-psychosurgery was created in 1941. The works of successive heads of the Neurosurgery Department at Sainte-Anne Hospital summarized the history of psychosurgery in France.

Pierre Puech defined psychosurgery as the necessary cooperation between neurosurgeons and psychiatrists to treat the conditions causing psychiatric symptoms, from brain tumors to mental health disorders. He reported the results of his series of 369 cases and underlined the necessity for proper follow-up and postoperative re-education, illustrating the relative caution of French neurosurgeons concerning psychosurgery.

Marcel David and his assistants tried to follow their patients closely postoperatively; this resulted in numerous publications with significant follow-up and conclusions. As early as 1955, David reported intellectual degradation 2 years after prefrontal leucotomies.

Jean Talairach, a psychiatrist who eventually trained as a neurosurgeon, was the first to describe anterior capsulotomy in 1949. He operated in several hospitals outside of Paris, including the Sarthe Psychiatric Hospital and the Public Institution of Mental Health in the Lille region. He developed stereotactic surgery, notably stereo-electroencephalography, for epilepsy surgery but also to treat psychiatric patients using stereotactic lesioning with radiofrequency ablation or radioactive seeds of yttrium-90.

The evolution of functional neurosurgery has been marked by the development of deep brain stimulation, in particular for obsessive-compulsive disorder, replacing the former lesional stereotactic procedures.

The history of Sainte-Anne Hospital’s Neurosurgery Department sheds light on the initiation—yet fast reconsideration—of psychosurgery in France. This relatively more prudent attitude toward the practice of psychosurgery compared with other countries was probably due to the historically strong collaboration between psychiatrists and neurosurgeons in France.

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Mitchel S. Berger

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Vladislav Pavlov, Pascale Varlet, Fabrice Chretien, Geneviève Nguyen and Johan Pallud

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Johan Pallud