Lorenzo's Oil

Topics: Lorenzo Odone, Augusto and Michaela Odone, The Myelin Project Pages: 3 (1052 words) Published: October 26, 2006
After watching the movie, we discussed the movie from several different angles. As a result, we have prepared the following summary of the movie as well as several thoughts regarding the movie. Summary of Movie

Three months after Lorenzo Odone and his family moved to Washington D.C., he began to have behavioral problems that soon grew to include motor skill problems. After testing, he was diagnosed with adrenoleucodystrophy (ALD). ALD is an inherited metabolism disorder in which the enzyme to break down long chains of fat does not work. The fats build up in the brain and cause the myelin sheath around brain cells to liquefy. The brain declines to the point of death within two years. Augusto and Michaela Odone were not given hope for treatment but they were offered a place in a diet trial that cut out long chain fat foods. Instead of reducing the long chain fat in Lorenzo's blood it increased it. A doctor suggested immunosuppression with chemo- therapy for one month. This was devastating to Lorenzo, not helpful. After this the Odone's realized that they should not have put Lorenzo in the doctors' hands blindly and decided to educate themselves. After much study they discovered that biosynthesis was causing Lorenzo's body to make up for the long chain fats he was not eating by producing its own. The Odones then found evidence that giving Lorenzo another kind of fat that was not harmful to him slowed biosynthesis down. After they attended the first International ALD Symposium they found a laboratory that could produce the triglyceride olive oil they needed to test their hypothesis. Al though the doctors didn't trust their findings, they decided to give the olive oil to Lorenzo. His long chain fats dropped fifty percent and then leveled off. Doctors and parents of ALD children were skeptical of their findings because they did not have a medical degree and/or training. Lorenzo's parents decided to look for the rest of the solution to reduce the long...
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