Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|NOVA The Family That Walks on All Fours|
Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 02/13/2007 Run time: 56 minutes
Unsolved mysteries of evolution and genetics
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 09/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In a rural Turkish village, a large but unique family has 5 children out of 19 total, aging between 18 to 34 years old that walk primarily on both hands and feet. Why several other members of the family are not afflicted with this unusual phenomenon is unknown and certainly intriguing.
NOVA takes a fascinating look at several different aspects which might supply answers to this medical puzzle. Different scientists working on this problem look first at the fact that the parents are cousins. Marriage between close relatives increases the chances of faulty genes in children. Another consideration is man's evolution and how genetics plays a role in one's abilities to walk upright.
Referred to as `hand-walkers' in the program, the children are administered neurological tests and brain scans to further determine abnormalities. The findings are significant in that they show limited intelligence, language, and fine motor skills and x-rays show damage to the Cerebellum which helps in balance and movement of normally healthy individuals. Although there are no absolutes, it is believed that this may be causing some of the problems.
Science and research segments of this documentary are very interesting in and of themselves and the detailed explorations of genetics and their functions are explained in easy to understand terms. A common agreement among many is that due to the massive amount of genes contained in the brain (many of whose functions are still unknown) and the complexities of the humane genome, there are still dozens of unanswered questions that science is still trying to answer.
Despite adapting well to their current afflictions and leading mostly normal lives considering their situations, your heart still goes out to these special family members and the continuing challenges they face. Closing segments in this program show therapists and specialists working with the children using walkers and other devices to introduce them to upright mobility and it makes for a rewarding end to this feature.