Lorenzo oil inventor dies

Lorenzo oil inventor dies
Highlights

Lorenzo Oil Inventor Dies. Odone, 80, died on Thursday in his native Italy, five years after the death of his son Lorenzo, who astonished doctors by surviving decades longer than they predicted.

Rome: Augusto Odone, a former World Bank economist, defied skeptical scientists to invent a treatment to try to save the life of his little boy, wasting away from a neurological disease, and to give hope to other children afflicted with the same genetic defect.

Odone, 80, died on Thursday in his native Italy, five years after the death of his son Lorenzo, who astonished doctors by surviving decades longer than they predicted.

The concoction, derived from natural cooking oils, became known as Lorenzo's Oil, which was also the title of a 1992 movie in which Nick Nolte played Odone, while Susan Sarandon played his wife.

Cristina Odone said on Friday that her father died of organ failure precipitated by a lung infection.

Lorenzo was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy, a neurological disease also known as ALD, when he was 6. Doctors predicted the rare genetic disease would kill him in a few years. But Augusto and his wife Michaela refused to accept an outlook of doom. Odone took early retirement and began work. After scouring medical journals and consulting scientists and doctors, he taught himself enough science that in 1987 he came up with a concoction derived from natural cooking oils. He turned to a British scientist to produce an edible version, eventually contained in a bottle carrying the simple name "Lorenzo's Oil."

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