Morgellons Disease is characterized by bizarre symptomology such as experiencing biting sensations on the skin, painful skin eruptions, strange fibers growing from the skin, unexplained body pain and neurological deficits (1,2).
It is estimated that millions of people worldwide suffer from this unexplained affliction with the medical community quick to dismiss their symptoms as 'delusional parasitosis' or 'delusional infestation' and hence believe it's all in their heads. Medical authorities often times blame the Morgellons sufferers for inflicting the wounds on themselves and believe the fibers simply emanate from clothing.
After thousands of complaints to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), in January of 2008, the CDC paid researchers over $300,000 to conduct a 3-year study on Morgellons. The researchers erroneously concluded that "No common underlying medical condition or infectious source was identified, similar to more commonly recognized conditions such as delusional infestation"(3) and hence indirectly concluded that Morgellons was not a disease and was in fact a psychological disorder. The CDC agreed and stated, "This comprehensive study of an unexplained apparent dermopathy demonstrated no infectious cause and no evidence of an environmental link" (4).
Morgellons has historically been linked to genetically modified organisms (GMOs; a specific bacteria known as Agrobacterium)(4), Lyme Disease (1,6,9), immune weakness (1,2) and environmental toxicity (1,2,6).
According to researchers at the State University of New York
, "Agrobacterium represents a universal gene and protein transfer machine" (7) and hence laboratory (genetically modified) creations now have the ability to alter the DNA of humans (4). Hence, agrobacterium allows horizontal transfer of DNA and would be a likely culprit in the creation of Morgellons although other environmental factors appear to also be involved.
Following up from the CDC study, in January of 2012, new independent research just published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research
found that Morgellons is in fact a real disease (8). Based on extensive physical, microscopic and fluorescence examination of skin, hair, tissues, calluses, etc. of three Morgellons sufferers, the researchers reported several interesting findings:
- Abnormal functioning of the follicular keratinocytes (genetic alterations in DNA caused hair follicles and skin to malfunction).
- Fibers, which under the microscope (100x), had a unique floral arrangement and colors of blue, red, white, green and some brightly fluorescent.
- Some fibers "appeared as root-like growths."
- For the first time, demonstrated that Morgellons fibers contain keratin (structural protein which makes up the outer layer of the skin) which means the fibers were created within the body.
- Alterations in keratinocyte (skin) expression was most likely due to spirochetal infection from Lyme Disease.
The filaments from the Morgellons patients were confirmed to contain keratin via immunohistological staining with antibodies specific for human keratins. This means that fibers present in the subjects were found to be biological in origin and are produced by keratinocytes (proteins in the outer layer of skin) and grew out of the body.
These findings are consistent with the 2012 CDC publication stating that over 80 percent of non-biopsy material taken from patients had a protein composition.
The researchers concluded that the fibers "are clearly biological in nature and are not implanted textile fibers." It may be probable to assume that since these fibers under the microscope which contain floral and root-like structures that the origin may be via a cross contamination of DNA from plants and humans by way of GMOs.
This study opens the door for future research which is desperately needed in the environmental and epigenetic causes of Morgellons Disease with Lyme Disease and GMOs being the likely areas of interest.Sources
1 Savely VR, Leitao MM, Stricker RB (2006) The mystery of Morgellons disease: Infection or delusion? Am J Clin Dermatol 7: 1-5.
2. Savely VR, Leitao MM (2005) Skin lesions and crawling sensations: Disease or delusion? Adv Nurse Pract 13: 16-17.
3. Pearson ML, Selby JV, Katz KA, Cantrell V, Braden CR, et al. (2012) Clinical, Epidemiologic, Histopathologic and Molecular Features of an Unexplained Dermopathy. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29908. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029908
4. CDC Study of an Unexplained Dermopathy. January 25, 2012. Online: http://www.cdc.gov/unexplaineddermopathy/
5. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins. Agrobacterium & Morgellons Disease, A GM Connection? Institute of Science in Society.
6. Savely VR, Stricker RB (2009) Morgellons disease: Analysis of a population with clinically confirmed microscopic subcutaneous fibers of unknown etiology. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol 3: 67-78.
7. Lacroix B, Kozlovsky SV, Citovsky V. Recent Pat DNA Gene Seq. 2008;2(2):69-81.
8. Marianne J. Middelveen1, Elizabeth H. Rasmussen, Douglas G. Kahn and Raphael B. Stricker. Morgellons Disease: A Chemical and Light Microscopic Study. J Clin Exp Dermatol Res 2012, 3:140.
9. Middelveen MJ, Stricker RB (2011) Filament formation associated with spirochetal infection: A comparative approach to Morgellons disease. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol 4: 167-177.