Awakenings Movie Analysis

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Awakenings is an American drama released in 1990, based on the neurologist Oliver Sack 's studies on patients in a behavioral institution in the late 1960 's. The movie starts with Dr. Sack 's character fictionalized as Dr. Malcom Sayer interacting with catatonic patients who survived the epidemic of Encephalitis Lethargica from 1917 to 1928. This disease is also known as the "sleeping disease" because it attacks the brain, leaving the person in a statue-like condition. Even though the doctor 's colleagues saw the patients as a hopeless case, Dr. Sack continued to investigate how his patients could be treated. As his investigation continued, he began to notice that the patients had various stimuli that triggered responses from them, which lead to his theory that they might have been infected by an extreme form of Parkinson disease. Subsequently, the doctor began administering a breakthrough drug back then, named L-DOPA, which showed an immediate "awakening" in his patients. Despite the drug being promising at the beginning, the patients started to develop impairment of voluntary movement disease called dyskinesia and started to develop psychological stress due to reentering the real world after years of motion-less state. At the end, the patients went back to an immobile state, which eventually made Dr. Sayer realized that the drug was not a long-term treatment for the sick people. This film is relevant to psychology because it treats topics like psychological
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