Awakenings is a 1990 drama film based on Oliver Sacks' memoir, Awakenings. It tells the true story of a doctor (Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as Malcolm Sayer) who, in 1969, discovers beneficial effects of the then-new drug L-Dopa. He applied it on catatonic patients who survived the 1917-1928 epidemic of encephalitis lethargica.
Awakenings (1973, rev. ed. 1990; ISBN 0-375-70405-1) is a non-fiction book by Oliver Sacks that tells of his experiences in 1969 using the then-new drug L-DOPA on patients who were victims of the 1920s sleeping sickness (encephalitis lethargica). It was also the subject of a 1990 film of the same name starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams.