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Kennedy Krieger Institute

Augusto Odone dies at 80; used 'Lorenzo's oil' to treat ailing son

Augusto Odone was a charismatic Italian economist whose job with the World Bank afforded a cosmopolitan lifestyle. But the important work he performed for impoverished countries paled by comparison to the job that began to consume him in 1984: saving the life of his gravely ill son. That year, Odone's 6-year-old son Lorenzo was diagnosed with a fatal genetic disorder that doctors said caused the loss of voluntary movement and death within a few years. Rejecting the grim prognosis, Odone and his linguist wife, Michaela, immersed themselves in medical journals to learn everything they could about the disease, adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD. Odone ultimately helped develop a...