Arachnophobia Cured By Brain Surgery

Don’t worry, I’m not advocating having brain surgery to cure a fear of spiders!  This article is about a “positive side effect” caused by brain surgery on a patient suffering from sarcoidosis.  Apparently the rare condition which affects a number of organs of the body, including the brain, was severe enough in a 44 year old businessman that it was causing seizures.  Doctors decided to operate and removed a very small piece of brain, and since the operation the patient’s fear of spiders had entirely vanished!

Other side effects from the operation apparently waned over time, but his new found lack of arachnophobia stayed with him and appears to be permanent.

Anyway it’s an interesting article so check out the full story at New Scientist, and if you want all the geeky details there is a downloadable paper from Neurocase Journal called Abolition of lifelong specific phobia: a novel therapeutic consequence of left mesial temporal lobectomy  But don’t worry, there are much less invasive ways of curing arachnophobia than having doctors remove part of your brain ;)