AwakeningsThe great awakening was based upon the original book written by Dr.
Oliver Sacks most of the characters names were changed and the method of how the treatment was truly administered in real life was more fictional. Yet the main point of the movie is treating an unknown disease with a tested drug is very accurate on how the real life events occured. According to the book and the films events it was able to give a good explanation of how Dr. Sayer was able to treat catatonic patients by administering the L Dopa drug at different dosages at a time until he was able to bring them back from their catatonic state(at 1000 mg) up to a more normal state of living. Eventually in the book just as in the movie the patients did begin to suffer psychotic symptoms, along with returning symptoms of the disease. For a while the patients were able to live with the symptoms until eventually they returned to the with the severe symptoms of the disease. Another accuracy of the movie and the real life occurrences depicted from the written book of Dr.
Sayer , in which he continued to test several other drugs to help the patients recover from the severe symptoms of the drug although none were as successful as the L Dopa drug. The main treatment that Dr. Sayer was wishing to obtain were the symptoms received from the disease be normalize in the everyday lives of each of the patients. According to, ¨Accuracy of The Film Awakenings¨, The disease encephalitis is found to attack the immune system reacting and turning into an infection by bacterium related to streptococcus. Antibodies then bound themselves to neurons in the basal ganglia and the midbrain of the encephalitis. According to the ¨Accuracy of The Film Awakenings¨, The symptoms often begin with a high fever, headache, sore throat, tremors, muscle pains, a slowing of physical and mental response, and drowsiness. Some patients with encephalitis may see behavioral and personality changes, and sometimes they become psychotic.
Dr. Sayer was hoping to treat the symptoms and normalize them by administering the L Dopa drug which was found to work but only for a short period of time. They were able to see that the L Dopa drug was working because of the patients returning from their catatonic state to a more stable way of living. Science has now shown that what the L Dopa drug was originally made to reduced Parkinsonian symptoms in animals. Many Parkinson’s patients tend to show degeneration. Normally, dopamine is released from most neurons but in Parkinson’s patients it has been found that they have little dopamine present. The drug L Dopa, is used to metabolized into dopamine, this makes it able to administer itself to cross the blood brain barrier.
The only issue is that dopamine, however, can not do this. What the L Dopa did was return the dopamine levels into normal levels, this is what helps the brain achieve a more normal state of functioning in a day to day basis. Although with humans the body becomes immune to its reaction and returns to its original deteriorating state making it a temporary treatment. The differences in healthcare treatment I am able to see from then and now is that many doctors were not able to find a way to treat or research why the patients were going to the ill state they were going into. I am also able to see that their treatment options were limited when they found themselves with new diseases or chronic illnesses. The difference from then to now is that we are now able to research the causes of many illnesses to treat each patient properly. The only true issue found within our research and healthcare system today is that we are sometimes unable to find long term efficient drugs to treat chronic illnesses. Even Though we know what leads many illnesses to be chronic we are unable still to find adequate treatment to overcome such illnesses.
My opinion on these differences is that I am glad we are able to get to the base of what the issue is with many of these diseases such as encephalitis. I am glad that thanks to our modern research and availability to research the human body even more we are able to give patients a more straightforward answer on why they are ill, what is expected to happen and if we are able to treat the illness yet or not. The only disappointment I have within our findings is that sometimes we are still unable to treat these diseases effectively to help patients recover more effectively and only giving them temporary aliviences. Some of my other feelings and opinions within the movie is that it gives a good representation of how many patients first live when they begin to suffer with a chronic illness that has taken over their normal life.
It gives a good example of how slowly research begins or continues to find ways to treat many of these ill patients who desire to live a normal life