One family's search to explain a fatal neurological disorder

Nissa J. Mollema, Harry T Orr

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The article discusses how Henry Schut's younger brother John Schut got into research to explain a fatal neurological disorder after his father got afflicted with the disorder. Ten-year-old Henry Schut noticed that his father was having increasing difficulties with his daily chores on their farm in rural Minnesota in the early 1900s. Henry's father lost the ability to tie his shoes, dress himself, and feed himself as the disease progressed. Ataxia robbed him of his ability to control both his fine and gross muscle movements, making each motion challenging and inefficient. A variety of causes can result in ataxic symptoms. People who have had too much alcohol display temporary ataxia. Permanent forms of ataxia, in contrast, can be debilitating and sometimes deadly. A traumatic brain injury, such as stroke or head trauma, may trigger ataxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
Specialist publicationAmerican Scientist
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


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