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Word Count: 991
In the 1920s Leonard Lowe is a normal ten year old boy who is attacked by a mysteriously crippling disease The onset of the disease manifests itself in periods of what I can only term suspended animation At one moment the victim is engaging in a normal activity and at another he appears to be a living statue Early in the disease these periods of suspension last anywhere from a few moments to a few hours and eventually the victim is trapped seemingly forever in the statue phase Only certain specific outside stimuli obtains a physical reaction such as catching a ball or walking When the movie begins they show Leonard to us as a normal and seemingly healthy ten year old boy who is afflicted with the sleeping sickness disease that reached epidemic proportions during that specific era Like many others who contracted this illness Leonard and those like him were often misdiagnosed and eventually placed in mental hospital facilities because of their apparent vegeta tive state Doctors who worked on the earlier cases believed the patients mental faculties to have been destroyed by the illness Dr Sayer Dr Oliver Sacks in real life discovers that certain vegetative patients reacted to outside stimuli such as a pattern on a floor a tossed ball or a television with a maladjusted vertical hold Finally Dr Sayer comes across Leonard as a middle-aged man some thirty years after he was originally afflicted with the disease After doing some tests the doctor comes to realize that there is brain activity and convinces his colleagues that further tests should be considered He theorizes that a newly developed drug L-Dopa developed for the treatment of Parkinsons patients may benefit these patients He doses Leonard with no initial success Once again he theorizes that the acid in the Orange Juice which he had been giving with the medicine may actually be neutralizing the effects of the drug He tries once more
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