The movie, Lorenzo’s Oil, brought attention to a rare degenerative disorder called Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). This disease is an inherited recessive disorder linked to the X chromosome.
In the movie, a young, bright boy, is diagnosed with the horrible disease ALD.
Some of the symptoms he experienced were seizures, loss of muscle tone, contractor deformities, swallowing difficulties and brain tissue damage. he actually had to be careful he did not swallow his own saliva because even this could be fatal.
At first, the Odone’s tried to modify his diet to lower the fatty acids in his blood levels. They only fed him things low in fat or no fat at all. This however proved unsuccessful. The disorder leaves the body unable to breakdown fat molecules, either ones the body makes its self or ones that enter the body through food. Research has shown that this is probably due to an enzyme that fails to work correctly and carry the fat molecules to where they would be broken down. The fat molecules build up and clog up cells and hurt the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Scientist attitude toward the disease were not at all close to the attitude to the attitude of the Odone’s. The scientists wanted to take their time and figure it out step by step while people were dying of this horrible disease each day. The Odone’s wanted to figure out this disease as fast as possible and were desperate to try anything to cure their son. There are several forms ALD can take and Lorenzo had the most devastating type. It is a childhood cerebral form, meaning that the nerves in the brain are destroyed. In about 40% of these cases most of the boys are totally disabled between 6 months and 2 years. That is why the Odone’s did not want to waste any time.
Unfortunately, there is no complete cure for cerebral ALD. Still to this day one method is still being used to help manage the affects of the disorder. Mr. Odone came up with the concept of the kitchen sink. This...