The Case of the Frozen Addicts

The Case of the Frozen Addicts

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In the summer of 1982, hospital emergency rooms in the San Francisco Bay Area were suddenly confronted with mysteriously a€œfrozena€ patients a€“ young men and women who, though conscious, could neither move nor speak. Doctors were baffled, until neurologist J. William Langston, recognizing the symptoms of advanced Parkinsona€™s disease, administered L-dopa a€“ the only known effective treatment a€“ and a€œunfrozea€ his patient. Dr. Langston determined that this patient and five others had all used the same tainted batch of synthetic heroin, inadvertently laced with a toxin that had destroyed an area of their brains essential to normal movement. This same area, the substantia nigra, slowly deteriorates in Parkinsona€™s disease. As scientists raced to capitalize on this breakthrough, Dr. Langston struggled to salvage the lives of his frozen patients, for whom L-dopa provided only short-term relief. The solution he found lay in the most daring area of research: fetal-tissue transplants. The astonishing recovery of two of his patients garnered worldwide press coverage, helped overturn federal restrictions on fetal-tissue research, and offered hope to millions suffering from Parkinsona€™s, Alzheimera€™s, and other degenerative brain disorders. This is the story behind the headline a€“ a spellbinding account that brings to life the intellectual excitement, ethical dilemmas, and fierce competitiveness of medical research. This new updated edition of the classic neurological mystery tale, a€œThe Case of the Frozen Addicts, a€ illuminates how the solution to a baffling mystery of the braina€™s chemistry opened a new frontier in medicine and restored life to people without hope. a€œIt begins with a series of quixotic discoveries, escalates to providing possible solutions for one of humanitya€™s most intractable medical problems, and then catapults the reader into the center of Americaa€™s hottest political arena a€“ abortion and fetal sanctity. Bravo! A brilliant read.a€ a€“ Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague a€œ[Langston and Palfreman] weave a highly readable and spellbinding medical detective tale... It is as absorbing as a good mystery, as entertaining as an exciting novel, and as enlightening as a good biography.a€ a€“ Stanley Fahn, New England Journal of Medicine a€œI could not put it down... it is the lives of the a€˜frozen addictsa€™ themselves a€“ and the fullness with which this is presented a€“ which makes the whole thing overwhelming.a€ a€“ Oliver SacksIf Roe v. Wade fell, their fate would be left in the hands of state lawmakers. If Connecticuta#39;s or Coloradoa#39;s politicians chose to make abortion illegal, then those programs would have to shut down or move to a state which continued to permitanbsp;...

Title:The Case of the Frozen Addicts
Author: J.W. Langston, J. Palfreman
Publisher:IOS Press - 2013-12-02

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