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THE LAST HIPPIE - Essay Example

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The human brain works amazingly. It creates individual worlds for us. The cases of neurological impairment and their medication are different for different individuals…
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Download file to see previous pages The Last Hippie is about a young enthusiastic lad Greg, who through various incidents became a patient of profound amnesia and could not make any further memory. His love for music opened new ways for the doctor to treat him so that he could communicate with others.   The Last Hippie showcases one of Dr. Sacks patient’s Greg F. who suffered from profound amnesia due to a midline tumor. It further describes his history, events that led to his condition, diagnosis and his unusual treatment.  It also tells us about the human brain and how it creates individual worlds for us. The simple acts that we take for granted such as listening to ones favorite can help transport memories for us.  Greg F. was a young individual from New York who was not only exceptionally intellectual but also had a major interest and talent in music.  However, during the 1960’s Greg became rebellious to his parents and teachers and, joined the hippie culture in the Greenwich Village. Having an opinion if his own, which differed from that of his parents forced Greg to drop out from school and leave his house. He started taking drugs. Ultimately in his search for enlightenment he turned to the Hare Krishna organization under the supervision of Swami Bhaktivendanta in 1969 (Sacks, 1995).  This organization promised him a new level of consciousness and enlightenment. Greg’s search finally came to an end and he showed great enthusiasm. In 1970, he began to show the initial symptoms of neurological impairment. His swami took it as his first step to inner light and spirituality. By 1971 Greg was shifted from Brooklyn temple to the Temple of New Orleans. By this time he had lost his vision. Greg’s condition was interpreted as a spiritual sign. Greg accepted this explanation and became unconcerned about his poor vision. Greg’s newfound detachment was epitomized as the achievement of spirituality and illumination.               In 1975, Greg’s parents came to visit him, as his father was very sick and wanted to see his son, and were shocked to see his condition. He had no facial hair, smiled stupidly and worse of it was he had lost his vision and was totally blind. His parents took him to the hospital where they diagnosed a midline tumor of the size of an orange. The tumor had moved to the both sides of the frontal lobes, damaging the very sensitive neural substrates of personal identity and self. It also prevented the awareness of being ill or blind i.e. Greg was not aware of the fact that he was blind. It expanded backwards and damaged major parts of the media temporal lobes including his hippocampus and adjacent cortical structures due to which he suffered from profound amnesia and also his ability to make long term memories from a present situation were finished. The tumor had also destroyed his optic chiasm which caused a total vision loss. Moreover, damage to the forebrain had been done, which affected his emotional capacity .These had caused severe impairment in Greg’s neurological functioning. He showed no interest in any activity and had become mentally and physically blank. He could not engage himself in any serious conversation. Lastly the damage to the pituitary gland has caused hair loss and he became totally submissive. At the age of 25, he was admitted to Williamsburg Hospital for further treatment. He could only bring up memories till the 1966, the events after 1966 till 1969 were vague to him and the events in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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