ELIXIR OF LIFE. THE BROWN - SEQUARD DISCOVERY.
Professor Brown-Sequard recently read a most remarkable paper before the Biological Society of Paris. The aged professor believes ho has discovered the secret of perpetual youth. The source is in young animals, guinea pigs, dogs, etc. — from which, while under the influence of anaesthetics, he abstracts organic matter, reduces it to a pulp in a mortar, dis&olves all chat is soluble in water, then subjects this solution to further chemical action, and finally injects it under the skin of the arm in doses ot i c.c. at a time. The professor injected ths matter intohis own arm, and he reportsthat.on the day after hehad taken two injections, he felt completely transformed. He could work better, sleep better, and digest his food more perfectly. His appetite improved, and he gained 141b in weight. It true, these results may well be called extraordinary.
A VICTIM AT PARIS. A recent telegram from Paris says :—: — "Dr. Brown - Sequard's elixir of life has afc last found a victim. Dr. Henry Reseding, oi Bank xjick, prepared some of the fluid and injected the liquid into a decrepit old negro. The manifestations from the patient which followed showed that there was something wrong with the ' life elixer,* as the darky died in terrible agony. It} is supposed that blood poisoning was the cause of the death. The negroes in the village became so incensed at the doctor that he was compelled to leave the country immediately after the disastrous experiment. He cannot be found, and it is supposed that the friends of the deceased have killed him."
EXPERIMENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO. A public test was recently made in San Francibco. A number of candidates presented themselves, and the gentleman in charge of the tesfc made a selection of one possessing all the requiiements. His name is James Gamble, his residence 25 Hinckley Place, and he is a sympathetic old man, who in seventy years has managed to wear away nearly every tooth in his head. The three or four left in sight are far between, and like the tiny points of a saw, while the others have been levelled down to the gums. His gait is slow and feeble, and his sight rather dim. On Mr Gamble expressing his entire willingness to proceed with the test it was decided to perform the first experiment with injection prepared from a lamb. It was a perfectly healthy, active male about sixteen months old. It was necessary to perform the operation on the animal while ib was alive, and though it is not of a particularly painful character, "Dr. W. F. McNutt decided that to save any possible suffering he would administer chloroform, and the anesthetic was given by one of the other physicians. The animal was placed on the college operating table, and with a few incisions Dr. McNutt laid bare the gland that was to be used in the experiment. During this and all subsequent proceedings the greatest care was taken to make the work antiseptic.
THE OPERATION. The formula of Dr. Brown -Sequard calls for three different substances, and Dr. McNutt first opened a small vein to secura a few drops of veinoua blood. The gland was then handed over to Dr. VVinslow Anderson for further prepjiration. Two portions of it were carefully cutoub and placed in a saucer. The blood was added and then a few drops of water, and when they were well stirred together they were placed in a stone mortar and macerated with a pestle. It took aome time to do this, as the substances did not macerate very readily. vVhen the mass was prepared it was carefully strained through paper into a glass graduate, and Drs. Anderson and Sunndberg, who had some further researches in view, secured a small quantity for microscopical investigation. To the liquid they strained through the paper, about three times its bulk of water was added, and then it was strained once more to preclude the possibility of any tissue appealing in the liquid used for injection. Great care is necessary in this part 6f the experiment, as any foreign substance injected into the blood might cause a serious sore.
THE INJECTION. Everything being in readiness, the liquid prepp ration was placed in a hypodermic syringe, fifteen minims being the exact amount used by Dr. Brown-Sequard in his experiment and followed in this test. "Off with your coat and roll up your sleeves," said Dr. Sundberg, when the syringe was filled. , Mr Gamble obeyed, apd took his seat in a chair. Dr. McNutt pinched up a piece of skin over the ball of the right arm, inserted the syringe and injected half the dose. Then he did the same with the left arm and in- I jected the remainder. | " Why that does nofc huro at all," ex claimed Mr Gamble, who had braced him self tor some pan. 'l^usta prick of the | needle and a little tingling is all." A moment later he said, •• There v 'i 8 no feeling at all now. J could not tell that anything had been done to me.'
The pulse, that before the injection had recorded 76, now counted 72. •* Now we will try the temperature," said Dr. McNutt, placing the thermometer in the old man's mouth.
A MARKED RISE. Some time was taken in making the test of temperature, and when it was ended, Dr, McNutt said significantly : "It is 98. r J?hat is a marked rise in an old man." Ten minutes later another tesb of the temperature recorded 97g, and a third test showed the same figure. 4< A permanent rise of 6-8," said Dr. McNutt, " is worthy of note." Mr Gamble eaid that he could not note any particular change alter the experiment, the whole of which had only consumed forty minutes of time, bub after the party left the building and he walked up Stock-ton-street he aid : "I seem to feel as though T had more energy. What a man would feel, I suppose, after a drink or two, only 1 do not drink nor smoke. It is not any great change, bub it is like this : Some times you feel well and like doing a lot of thing?, and other times you feel dull. I felt dull this afternoon, but now I feel different."
WHAT THE DOCTORS SAY. "Of course we cannot expect anything from this tirst injection," said Dr. McNutt, " nor do we know sufficient of the patient to form the data for a record yet. But we will make careful note of his nervous and muscular forces and record the results after future injections." •' What do 1 think of the discovery ? Well, all I am prepared to 3ay now is that taking the report of Dr. Brown-Sequard as correct, than he has probably found a powerful nervous stimulant. I shall watch the result of this experiment with close interest." Dr. Anderson concurred in the view taken by Dr. McNutt. He said : " It will take careful testa to determine any change in the nervous and muscular forces of the patient. We must have exact data to go upon before attsmpting to at rive at any decision. No doubt the injection will act as a strong stimulant."
FEELING BETTER, Next day James Gamble, who was injected with the glandular secretions of the guinea pig, called at the office of the physician who conducted the operation and was tested for changes in his physical condition. The tests indicated a noticeable change for the better. His temperature was 99, having increased one degree; his grip was 36, one degree stronger, and his pulse was 74, five degrees stronger than on the previous day. "I know that I feel better than ever," said Mr Gamble to an "Examiner" reporter. " I feel more limber and move about a good deal easier. My digestion is better than it has been for years, and I know this thing has helped me a good deal. No use talking, I know I feel better." Many ladies desire to know the value of the alleged fountain of life, and preparations are being made to test the remedy on an old lady selected by the phy&icians. That many private experiments are being conducted in San Francisco is evidenced by the scarcity of lambs and guinea pigs. One well-known dealer in live stock remarked yesterday : "I have never sold so many guinea pigs before in my life. During the past week there have been moie demands for the little animal than I can fill. I suppose they are wanted by physicians for the Brown-Sequard operation."
EXPERIMENTS AT KANSAS. Drs. L. A. Berber and C. W. Adams have for three weeks past been making experiments with the Brown-Sequard elixir at the Home for the Aged, Kansas city. The experiments were made upon two inmates of the home aged tifty-nine and seventyone, respectively. The fluid was injected twice a week and the doctors say that the vitality of one of the patients seems to be improved considerably. Dr. Berger thinks a mixture of opium, cocaine and brandy would have the same effect as the elixir. He will try it and make comparisons.
ENTERPRISING REPORTERS. At Philadelphia two reporters who subjected themselves out of curiosity to the Brown-Sequard elixir operation at the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital were both laid up, and on© of them is considerably alarmed about his condition. He was compelled to keep his bed on the 13th ult. , with a high fever, pains in the head, a painful confusion of ideas, and severe pains in the groin.
DR. HAMMOND'S OPINION. A special from Washington give 8 an interview with Dr. Hammond res lative to Dr. Brown -Sequard's elixir of life. He declared that the sensational publications about this new pieparation were not authorised or justified in any way. The doctor asserted that the new remedy was believed to be in the nature of a tonic which, it was thought, would bebeneficial, especially to old people. He denounced the foolish story that it was something that was going to prolong life indefinitely or restore old peoplo to youth. Neither he nor Dr. Brown-Sequard had ever called it the elixir of life,
ONLY IMAGINED IT. Dr. Harper, of the Cincinnati Cifcy Infirmaryl has tried Brown -Sequard's elixir on five inmates of the infirmary. They were all infirm men, over seventy years of age, except one, who was about forty, but was a rheumatic cripple. The doctor reports that only one observed any result whatever, and he said he felt although he had taken an alcoholic stimulant. The doctor concludes the results found elsewhere are results of mental excitement.
EXPERIMENT ON A PARALYTIC. Drs. Wilson and Dungan, of the Hospital College of Medicine, Louisville, have been experimenting with the BrownSequard elixir with a rheumatic patient seventy >ears old. He has obtained almost complete relief. He feels young and rein vigora ted. In the case of an asthmatic paralytic who was not informed of the nature of the treatment the patient has partially recovered from paralysis and has new energy and strength.
Barber shops for women seem to be increasing in New York, and many of them have regular customers. Owing to the ravages of the phylloxera in the favoured districts of France, it is an open secret, says the •♦ London Telegraph," that there is very little good brandy obtainable, and British exhibitors at the Paris Exhibition are hoping that they will be able bo induce the Parisians to substitute for it a much more wholesome spirit — Scotch whisky. The Frenah are not unappreciative of its qualities, for at the HygtSne Exhibition, in the capital, as well as at Troyes, in the Champagne country, they awarded gold medals and diploma to the purveyors of Scotch whi3kies to the House of Commons, Messrs James Buchanan and Co. (Glasgow and London). Ehrenfried Bros, are the agents in Auckland for this celebrated whisky.