Arnold School to present award-winning film, ‘Aphasia’
The Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina will celebrate its 35th anniversary Friday, Oct. 22, with a showing of the award-winning film, “Aphasia,” for the annual Winona B. Vernberg Distinguished Lecture.
The annual lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 1 p.m. in the Russell House Theater. Dr. Julius Fridriksson, a renowned stroke and aphasia researcher at the Arnold School, and actor Carl McIntyre, whose story inspired the film, will speak.
The lecture is named for the school’s founding dean, Dr. Winona B. Vernberg.
The 45-minute film tells McIntyre’s personal story. An accomplished actor, McIntyre found his life changed dramatically in 2005 when he suffered a massive stroke that left him with a speech disorder known as aphasia.
Caused by damage to the language regions of the brain’s left hemisphere, aphasia affects one in every 300 people in the United States. McIntyre’s stroke left him with an inability to speak and coordination problems. But his determination to regain his speech and coordination, which is chronicled in this film, have led to marked improvement and new acting roles.
“Aphasia” has been selected for showings in numerous international film festivals, including the prestigious Foyle Film Festival in Northern Ireland in November.
Fridriksson, one of the world’s leading researchers in stroke and aphasia, said McIntyre’s story will resonate with thousands of South Carolinians who have had family members and friends affected by stroke.
“South Carolina has one of the highest rates of stroke,” he said. “What many people don’t realize is that stroke is the No. 1 cause of disability among Americans – higher than accidents, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Stroke is a serious public-health issue, and Carl’s story brings to life the first-hand problems that many stroke patients deal with every day.”
The showing of the film follows a major study on aphasia by Fridriksson that was published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience.