Film Guide for Lorenzo’s Oil
Starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon
Please read these questions prior to viewing the movie! Following the film, you will be
given time to consider and review your answers.
1. From the description of the disease ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy) sketch how Lorenzo’s neurons most
likely looked prior to the onset of the disease and after a year or more.
2. ALD is a recessive sex-linked or X-linked disease. If this is a partial family tree for the Odone’s, what
are the probable genotypes of the family members listed?
XA = normal neurons xa = ALD
3. Why are boys more likely to have a recessive sex-linked disease then girls? Use a Punnett square to
show your work.
4. If Lorenzo could have children, what is the likelihood that his offspring would have the disease? Use a
Punnett square to show your work; include the probability for both males and females.
5. What was Augusto Odone’s plumbing analogy used to explain? How do analogies often help us to
6. How did diet affect this disease’s progression? What was “Lorenzo’s Oil?” Why was it so special?
7. How did Augusto use paper clips to work through a scientific problem? Can you think of other
discoveries that employed models?
8. Did this family’s courage and persistence inspire you? How?
9. Why did the Odone family encounter resistance from the medical community and the support
organization? What did you learn from observing this conflict?
10. We can learn anything that we want to…..many of us will continue to learn throughout life. How did
the Odone family demonstrate “Lifelong learning?”
11. As you reflect on the movie – how did the Odone family us the scientific method? Start with the
problem and use examples from the movie to illustrate the steps.
12. Defend the position that diseases that affect a small % of the population should not receive as much
money for research as the big killers like cancer and heart disease.
13. Why did olive oil not work completely? Trace the developments in the different kinds of oils
14. What do you think is the role of support groups? How did the support group affect the Odones?
15. What was revealed through the Polish biochemist? What was the purpose of the ALD Symposiums?
What happens when scientists work in isolation?
16. What is erucic acid?
17. Where was the myelin research being done? What was the experiment? How could this research help
18. How did the treatment for ALD really happen by accident? Can you think of any other accidental
19. Where does Lorenzo’s Oil act – at the ER or peroxisome?
20. The defective allele for ALD codes for what protein? What does that protein do?
The preceding study guide questions were adapted from the following internet resource:
Film guide for “Lorenzo’s Oil”………………………………..Cathy Rose
ALD- A Case Study Using the Film “Lorenzo’s Oil”………………..Linda Gostinger
The Use of “Lorenzos’s Oil” as a teaching tool………………………………Bradley J. Stith, Ph.D.