Trepanation – a hole in the skull

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Trepanation/trepanning – what’s the drill?

In today’s episode, Doctor Anna and Joa wonder why people chose to drill holes in their skulls. For thousands of years, people have apparently carried out this procedure. Many have even survived the procedure, as can be seen on remnant skulls that have healed. Whether the procedure was carried out due to medical necessity, say after a hard blow to the head, or due to ritual reasons is sometimes hard to figure out.

Trepanation today

What we have figured out though is that there are people still today carrying out this procedure in their homes and with drills from the local hardware store. The community is still alive on Reddit and YouTube:

I felt like doing this myself a few weeks back because of sinus pressure.

“Maybe there’s something to it [trepanation], I’m not an expert.”

“I have absolutely no doubt that this would help people find a more pleasing state of being.”

“I’m a bit afraid to do it, because of pain and taboo (mainly the taboo, actually).”

“The pineal gland is light sensitive. which is strange considering its position buried deep in the center of the brain and is referred to as the “third eye” for this fact. it is the production center for melatonin and serotonin by a sleep-wake cycle. such are my findings to fix a Bipolar broken mind looking for more enlightenment.” [Doctor Anna comments: a bipolar mind is not broken!]

Our guest today

To help us understand what this trepanning is and what it actually might do to the ones attempting it, we have been joined by neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Murtha whose brainy brain knows a whole lot about brains. Matthew also runs the science radio show Technically Funny, your soundtrack to science on Barcelona City FM. Check him out!

Stay Tuned & Sci Hard!

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