Excerpt 8 – Fred Goes Home – 1995
My Journey to a
Next Generation Treatment
Donald E. Moss, Ph.D.
[Setting and Summary by Jim Summerton, Ph.D.]
[ Setting and Summary: MSF gives Fred his life back for two precious years. ]
The improvement wasn’t a fluke. Over the next ten days, Fred’s mental ability continued to rally, and while that was a good outcome in the evaluation of MSF, it also made it harder for Helen. Prior to his reawakening, Helen could manage Fred by telling him that they had discussed the issue and that Fred had agreed. When he couldn’t remember, Fred went along with whatever Helen told him. Now he remembered damn well they hadn’t discussed the question and he wasn’t inclined to go along.
Fred also started reading an English-language newspaper that Helen found. He seemed to have some comprehension because he got upset that a telecommunications company was going down the toilet. He remembered that they owned some stock in that company. He also started getting restless. He remembered that he was from Pasadena and he wanted to go home. Fred knew that Chihuahua was not his home.
Fred’s improvement was measurable by objective tests. He had gone from a score of six on the Mini-Mental to eleven. He also showed substantial improvement on the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale by going from a score of 50 errors down to 33 errors, an improvement of 17. He wasn’t normal by any means, but he was much better.
Helen, Pati, and I had a meeting one evening over coffee in Pati’s back office. Helen thought it was time to take Fred home. She felt that MSF had done as much or more than she had hoped. She’d had a great time with us in Chihuahua but she thought it was time.
“Can I take Fred home?” she asked with tears in her eyes. “And if I do, can I get MSF so he can continue?”
Pati and I looked at each other and then we talked about what each of us thought. We agreed that Fred could go home. He’d been on the higher dose of MSF for only two weeks, but that was long enough to get him into the new therapeutic level. Pati asked Helen to promise that Fred would be seen by their doctor at home who had approved their trip to Chihuahua and keep her informed about any changes in Fred.
Whether or not Fred could take MSF with him and get additional supplies in the months to come was up to Pati. I still had an ample supply of the very pure drug I had manufactured before I’d gone to Argentina. The only cost involved would be the shipping.
Pati agreed and we sent five weeks of capsules with Helen. Pati would arrange to send additional MSF later, depending on how Fred was doing. She had the authority to extend compassionate use of MSF and more could be sent as long as Fred had Pati’s prescription and the drug was not available in the U.S.
Pati and I had great regret at seeing Helen and Fred go home. I hoped that Fred’s improvement might be a real effect of MSF that would be seen in other patients. Pati and I saw them board an Aeroliteral flight to El Paso with connections to California at 1:15 PM, on Wednesday, October 25th, 1995.
Upon arrival in California, Fred’s doctor agreed that he was markedly improved and concurred with the decision that Fred should continue MSF. We stayed in contact with Helen after they left. In a telephone conversation January 3rd, 1996, Helen told me that Fred was continuing to do very well. Acquaintances noticed that Fred had improved, especially in social situations. On February 7th, 1996, Helen wrote:
“Fred’s responses are much more animated. He reads two daily papers. It’s uncertain how much is absorbed. He has a vehement reaction to President Clinton and Hillary’s travails.
No side effects from current MSF.”
In a telephone conversation on April 17th, Helen told me that it was her impression that Fred was still much improved, that the change since last September was remarkable. She said that he continued to have an excellent sense of humor and had good social responses.
However, after two years of treatment following his departure from Chihuahua, Fred began to show the inevitable decline back into dementia. MSF treatment was stopped. In March of 1998, Fred died of pneumonia. I still have contact with Helen every year.