My Personal Testimonial: Cured from CIDP

Article excerpted from Dr. Aardsma’s book, Aging: Cause and Cure, chapter 15, published in 2017.

I began digging into the cause of pre-Flood longevity in my spare time in my early twenties, in the late 1970’s. By 2000, I had laid sufficient groundwork to mandate that I make finding vitamin X my full-time occupation.

I first identified MePA as a vitamin X candidate, after many false starts, in September of 2014. I began computer modeling work on MePA in June of the following year. By late November 2015, tests with mice had revealed no signs of toxicity, and the theoretical case for MePA had become sufficiently strong to warrant testing it on myself.

It seemed clear that the risks of not beginning to take this compound were at least as high as any risks which might possibly be associated with taking it. I was reasonably sure by that time that MePA had been naturally present in the environment, and naturally present in everybody’s diets for time out of mind prior to its loss in the Flood five and a half thousand years ago. This meant that I did not need to worry about it being like a new synthetic compound, totally foreign to the body, with potentially disastrous consequences.

The dose I would be taking—1 microgram/day—was miniscule. It seemed unlikely that many even synthetic compounds, chosen at random, would be able to do a body much harm at that low dose rate. To get a feeling for the low risk associated with such a small dose, compare, for example, to the deadly synthetic compound sarin, “used as a chemical weapon due to its extreme potency as a nerve agent.” A single dose of 500 micrograms (i.e., still tiny, but 500 times larger than the dose of MePA I would be taking) administered to a healthy male volunteer caused only “mild symptoms of intoxication.”

Meanwhile, I was approaching 61 years of age. My body was making it increasingly clear that I had passed the plateau phase of the human survivorship curve, and that I was rapidly on my way down its precipitous slope.

My own mortality had first begun to register with me when I had been forced to get prescription glasses early in my forties. I had always kept myself in reasonably good shape, without getting fanatical about it. I had never smoked, and I had stayed clear of alcohol. My wife and I had walked two miles or more together each day for decades, and I had found little trouble maintaining a healthy weight. But declining eyesight was just the beginning.

Subsequent years brought significant loss of hearing, hypothyroidism, worsening migraine headaches, and more. I had spent a great deal of time studying “old age.” Now I was getting to experience first hand what I had studied.

The biggest age-related health problem struck just after I turned 50. It began with random pains. These were short in duration—one or two seconds—but intense, like being stabbed with a needle. I had these in a variety of locations, mostly extremities: thumb, big toe, etc. They seemed not to hit the same spot twice. I shrugged them off. Life was too short and its mysteries too absorbing to be distracted by petty annoyances.

Then, while raking gravel in the driveway, I found I was unable to maintain my grip on the rake handle. Peripheral weakness continued to spread over the following weeks, and then months. It would come and go, but each time it returned, it would be worse than before and stay longer.

After a couple of years of following false leads, I was finally diagnosed with CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) by a talented neurologist. CIDP is a rare disease (a few per hundred thousand), most common in men over age 50.

CIDP is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the myelin sheath surrounding nerves. The result is loss of nerve impulses to peripheral muscles, with ensuing weakness.

By the time I got the diagnosis, I was in very bad shape. I was having difficulty lifting my fork to feed myself, I could not button my shirt, I couldn’t walk up or down stairs unassisted, and I was worrying at night about smothering under the blankets because I lacked the strength to move them off of my face.

While CIDP cannot be cured by modern medicine, its symptoms can generally be treated and controlled. Over the better part of the next decade, I went through several treatment regimens, from high prednisone to IV-Ig to Hizentra home infusions, 60 ml twice per week. Relief of symptoms provided by treatment was not total, but it was nonetheless substantial, allowing me to live a somewhat normal life once again.

Eventually, I was able to resume walking two miles each day with my wife, Helen. But my leg muscles were no longer what they had been. They would rapidly grow weary and pretty much give out after the first mile. No amount of conditioning or exercise helped, so I began taking a bike with me. I would wheel it along beside me as I walked the first mile. It functioned as somewhat of a welcome “walker,” keeping me more stable on my feet. Then I would ride it beside Helen as she walked the second mile.

I started taking MePA at 1 microgram/day on November 26, 2015. Three and a half weeks later, I was noticing positive health effects. Most significantly, I began to feel that I could do without the bike on our daily walks. I tried it and, sure enough, I could walk the entire two miles! CIDP had clearly begun to let up. This was eleven years after I had felt those first stabbing pains and subsequent peripheral weakness.

Another two weeks later, I was able to stop the biweekly infusions for CIDP that I had been obliged to be on for years. I had tried coming off the treatments in the past, only to be forced back on them if I wanted to stay out of a wheelchair. Had MePA healed my CIDP?

There were other possibilities. Spontaneous remittance is a characteristic of CIDP in the early years. But I was no longer in the early years. I had not experienced any spontaneous remittance since the relapse that nearly put me in a wheelchair prior to diagnosis. That had been nine years ago. One research study, aimed at assessing the long term prognosis of CIDP, concluded that prognosis “may be determined by the course and response to treatment in the first five years.” Based on the normal progression of this disease, remission seemed most unlikely. And the timing seemed just too coincidental. Remission had begun three and a half weeks following start of MePA dosing, after nothing but relentless disease for years.

Another possibility was the well-known placebo effect. But this, too, seemed pretty unlikely to me. Following eleven years of disease, I had expected to have CIDP for the rest of my life. I had always regarded it as possible that vitamin X might reverse CIDP, but I had not regarded this as probable. CIDP is an age-related disease. Age-related diseases are results of “aging.” It was clear from the start that, in the process of rolling back “aging,” vitamin X might also roll back some age-related diseases. In my case, that meant that it might roll back CIDP. But through the years, when Helen and I had discussed the possible impact on CIDP of the yet-to-be-discovered vitamin X, I had expressed my sincerely held doubts that it could impact diseases of the immune system. I had started on MePA in this frame of mind. My purpose had been to halt “aging.” Remission of CIDP had come as a bit of a (pleasant) surprise.

What was needed, to know for sure what was going on, was a proper clinical trial involving both treated and control groups. But all I had was myself. So we waited. Neither placebo effect nor spontaneous remittance would be expected to last more than a few weeks.

It has now been over a year and a half, and there has been no looking back. MePA does indeed appear to have cured my CIDP.

(Click here to read an updated testimonial from Dr. Aardsma and his wife.)

Article excerpted from Dr. Aardsma’s book, Aging: Cause and Cure.

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