L-Dopa In The Awakenings

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I. Introduction The Awakenings by Penny Marshall demonstrates how Dr. Malcolm Sayer happened to discover a positive effects of the drug L-dopa to the catatonic patients who survived the epidemic lethargica. The perseverance of Dr.Malcolm Sayer is the main reason why the patients that are epidemic are not giving up and because of him, they somehow got hope for the cure of their sickness. The movie awakenings is a story about a doctor’s extraordinary work with a group of a catatonic patients he finds languishing in the hospital. As time pass by, he discover that she can solve the case by treating them with L-dopa, a drug that was used to treat Parkinson's disease at the time. II. Body Even that may be giving “Awakenings” too much credit.…show more content…
We think we see a human vegetable, a peculiar man who has been frozen in the same position for 30 years, who neither moves nor speaks. What goes on inside his mind? Is he thinking in there? Of course not, a neurologist says in Penny Marshall's new film "Awakenings." Why not? "Because the implications of that would be unthinkable." Ah, but the expert is wrong, and inside the immobile shell of his body, Leonard is still there. Still waiting.” Leonard’s dating mother gives her approval to Sayer’s experimentation and he goes to work. Leonard remains unresponsive until one night when Sayer breaks into the Hospital’s drug cache and doles him out in much higher amount of L-DOPA than was authorized. The high dosage does the trick, and Leonard awakens from his limbo. With him as a model, the hospital allows Sayer to treat the rest of his patients with success. Preparing the way for sequences of enormous joy and heartbreak, as the patients are "awakened" to a personal freedom they had lost all hope of ever again experiencing -- only to find that their liberation comes with its own cruel set of conditions (Ebert,…show more content…
Dopamine is too large to fit into the Blood Brain Barrier so L-dopa is used. L-dopa is a dopamine-like dug that used to treat Parkinson's disease. However like Dopamine, too much L-dopa can result in schizophrenia. This explains why Leonard was experiencing those new symptoms. Leonard, in both states, shows a brilliance of acting technique – and that’s the problem: He shows it. Hoffman disappeared into his role as an autistic savant, but Leonard isn’t successful in doing that. Marshall’s directing is flabby and plodding, filled with extraneous shots and hokey parallels. Leonard takes his first steps outside the hospital in 30 years, so let’s show a toddler walking up the steps beside him. III. Conclusion After watching the movie I thought about how they portrayed the disease and its symptoms and treatments. I felt that they didn't do as much to explain what the disease does to someone and why it happens. The movie contradicted itself by saying basically saying that the patients were fully aware of what was going on around them and then Leonard explaining that he "felt nothing". The film mostly described the emotional impact of the patients' "awakening" and the change in relationships of the people involved with hospital. The blunt parallel of the patient’s awakenings and Sayer’s made even more awkward by a spoon-fed moral at the end. The subject matter being what it is, there are undeniably heart-tugging moments, as when the revived

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