Wednesday, January 19, 2011


*Kudos to Robert for the excellent act on the relapse signs and symptoms!*
The miracle of L-Dopa. Very touching, reminds people to appreciate little things in life.

This movie evolved around Dr. Sayer, an introvert neurologist who applied to be a researcher in Bainbridge Hospital. Due to lack of staff in the hospital, he was hired as a medical doctor instead. The hospital housed patients with chronic illness where the care focused on maintenance rather than cure. During an interaction with a newly admitted catatonic patient, Dr. Sayer stumbled upon her astonishing reflexes. He began observing other patients with the same condition, encephalitis lethargica. When they exert the presence of reflex and changes towards certain stimulus, he believed that the patients were somewhere alive inside but lost in a deep ‘sleep’. Upon further understanding of the illness, he began searching for a source that could bring them back. He conducted an experiment on a patient with a drug newly formulated back then, L-Dopa. Initially, the medicine works. The patient, Leonard Iowa was awakened. His work touched the life on many who then decided to fund his treatment on other patients. Hence, the miracle continued on with the awakening of other patients suffering from the same condition. Henceforth, the focus shifted to Leonard as he began to adapt to his surrounding and aged physical. Conflict arose when Leonard desired to be freed from the institution but the physicians wanted to continue observing the effect of the drug. Later, the effect of the medicine began to wear off. His signs and symptoms relapsed which slowly return him to his pre-treatment state. The devastation of losing a friend he grew to appreciate was portrayed by Dr Sayer when Leonard continued to deteriorate. Nevertheless, his brief stay had taught Dr. Sayer and those who witnessed the miracle on the importance of appreciating little things in life. In the end, what was thought to be a medical breakthrough was actually a humanity breakthrough.   

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