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Treatment For Ald In The Film Lorenzo’s Oil Essay

In the movie Lorenzo’s Oil, you can observe the Scientific Method on many different occasions. Lorenzo was diagnosed with ALD, a disease that overloads the nerve system with C24 and C26. This disease only affects boys age 5-10. ALD eats away a layer around the nerves and does not allow Lorenzo to do his everyday activities. In the beginning there is no real treatment or cure for ALD but throughout the movie Lorenzo’s parents use the Scientific Method to find a treatment for ALD.

The Scientific Method is first observed when Lorenzo’s teachers make an observation on his abnormal behavior and ask his parents if there is any trouble at home that may be causing the abnormal behavior. When Lorenzo’s parents find out about this, they make further observations and eventually make a hypothesis about Lorenzo’s different behavior. They think he may have contracted a disease when they were overseas in Africa. The next time you observed the method is when Lorenzo’s parents test their hypothesis.

They take Lorenzo to the doctor to see if he contracted a disease while they were overseas in Africa. Unfortunately, their hypothesis was wrong and they then had to make more observations and form a new hypothesis. The observations lead to the diagnosis of ALD before they could form a new hypothesis. Now that they know what is wrong with Lorenzo, they begin looking for a cure. Many observations are made and many hypotheses are proven wrong. VOCLOI octors are running all sorts of test while Lorenzo starts to loose more and more control over his limbs and is to the point where he can’t swallow on his own.

If Lorenzo is left untreated then he will die within two years of diagnosis. During the many hours of research Lorenzo’s mother comes across an article that may help them come up with a “cure” for ALD. The article helps explain why the human body only needs a certain amount of C24 and C26 and it also explains an experiment done on rats that brought high levels of C24 and C26 down to normal. Once again an experiment is conducted and Lorenzo’s parents mixed some oils and began putting it in with his food.

They hoped that the oil mixture would help bring the level of very long chain fatty acids down in his brain. Over a few weeks Lorenzo’s levels of C24 and C26 begin to drop. When Lorenzo’s parents hear this they want to share it with the other families so that they can start to feed the mixture to their boys. The only problem is that the scientists won’t agree to spread the word because the experiment was conducted by people who weren’t certified scientists and could have overlooked a few small details.

The Odones are also responsible for their one child while the scientists are responsible for all the ALD patients so the chance of something going wrong with the other boys is greater. The systems of all the boys varies so greatly that the scientists do not want to take the chance of something going wrong. A couple weeks after the refusal Lorenzo’s levels stop dropping and stay neutral. Lorenzo’s parents continue to feed him the oil mixture but are spending countless hours reading about the nervous system and why his levels of C24 and C26 are no longer decreasing.

When Augusto is trying to find a relationship between the “good” and “bad” enzymes, he eventually figures out that there is only one enzyme and that it needs to be loaded down with canola oil and olive oil in order to start producing more good enzymes instead of bad ones. Lorenzo’s parents start calling internationally trying to find an oil company that will distill the oils into the right formula. A British doctor agrees to take on the challenge and distills the oil with eurucic acid.

The formula normalized the very long chain fatty acids in Lorenzo’s brain and halted the disease. There is still a lot of neurological damage and Lorenzo can not begin healing until more advanced treatment options are discovered. But with a lot of moral support from friends and family he can now answer yes or no questions by blinking because his brain is not backed up with very long chain fatty acids. After this break through the medical community had no choice but to share the results with the parent support groups and start a clinical trial.

When the support groups found out about this they immediately demanded that large quantities be made and sent to them in hope that their boys would soon be on the road to recovery. In closing, the Scientific Method was very useful in finding a “cure” for ALD. Anywhere from the British scientist working in isolation to the countless hours Lorenzo’s parents spent in the library the Scientific Method was useful. Even though I do not agree with the approach the scientists took, I can understand where they are coming from. They do not want to raise false hopes. But where there is a will, there is a way.

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