Studies show that infections–not delusion–cause Morgellons disease
Press release from Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation
June 15, 2016
Until recently, Morgellons disease was widely believed in the medical community to be a delusional illness. However, with research support from The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation (CEHMDF), this opinion has been challenged due to two new supportive studies presented at the recent CEHMDF annual meeting in Austin, TX.
“Collectively, the research into Morgellons disease clearly shows a bacterial, infective process in these patients,” said Dr. Randy Wymore of Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences, an author of one of the studies.
Morgellons disease is a multi-system illness characterized by the formation of unusual, sometimes brightly colored fibers within skin. It is a debilitating, painful and life impacting condition. In addition to slowly healing skin lesions, an array of multi-system symptoms can occur, including fatigue, joint and muscle pain, intestinal problems and neurological symptoms including behavioral changes. Patients with Morgellons disease may shed unusual particles from the skin described as fibers, “sand” or seed-like black specks, or crystallized particles.
The cause of Morgellons disease has been the topic of heated debate. Many medical professionals believe that the disease is not a true somatic illness and maintain that it is the result of delusional beliefs. In 2013 an international group of scientists contradicted this theory, finding Borrelia spirochetes (corkscrew-shaped bacteria associated with tick-borne disease) in skin samples of 4 patients (1) followed by a larger study in 2015 (2). Despite this evidence the medical community at large has been slow to acknowledge the association between Morgellons disease and Borrelia infection.
Two additional laboratories have now replicated this important research. Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences research team led by Randy S. Wymore, PhD reported finding Borrelia DNA in Morgellons skin samples. Dr. Wymore’s presentation at the recent medical conference, Multiple Bacterial Species Identified in Morgellons Samples, provided much anticipated results and independent corroboration of previously reported findings.
Additionally, IGeneX Laboratory found DNA from three different species of Borrelia in patient skin specimens (3,4). Independent laboratory confirmation detecting Borrelia in Morgellons skin specimens is an important step in proving that Morgellons disease is a true somatic illness rather than the result of delusional beliefs. Independent confirmation also shows that the initial findings of Borrelia infection are reproducible if the right detection methods are used.
“Multiple papers have shown a connection between Borrelia burgdorferi and Morgellons disease. Data in publication from multiple researchers indicates the presence of more than one variety of Borrelia species, and our data indicates the presence of other unusual bacteria in Morgellons samples. Collectively, the research into Morgellons disease clearly shows a bacterial, infective process in these patients. In contrast, and despite the bombastic claims of some, there is zero convincing, scientific evidence that Morgellons is a psychogenic illness, “said, Dr. Wymore.
The research discovery and continued conclusive substantiation of bacterial involvement in Morgellons disease have given the CEHMDF renewed determination to fulfill its mission of discovering the cause and a cure for this complex disease. “We have taken the first baby steps to understand Morgellons disease”, says Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, director of the Holman Foundation. “Now we need a few medical leaps to cure it.”
About The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation
The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation, based in Austin, TX, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advocacy and philanthropy in the battle against Morgellons. Director, Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, leads the foundation, named for her husband, Charles E. Holman, a pioneer in the fight against MD.
The CEHMDF is the recognized authority and primary funding source for Morgellons disease medical-scientific research. There are neither grants, nor any other public or private funding to support research for Morgellons. Donations are tax deductible in the US. To learn more about Morgellons disease go to http://www.MorgellonsDisease.org.
1. Middelveen MJ, Burugu D, Poruri A, et al. Association of spirochetal infection with Morgellons disease. F1000Research. 2013; 2:25. doi:10.12688/f1000research.2-25.v1.
2. Middelveen, Marianne J et al. “Exploring the Association between Morgellons Disease and Lyme Disease: Identification of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Morgellons Disease Patients.” BMC Dermatology 15.1 (2015): 1. PMC. Web. 12 June, 2016.
3. Wymore, PhD, Randy S. et al. “The Investigation Of The Microbial And Molecular Analysis Of Morgellons Epithelial Tissue Samples.” 2015. Poster Presentation. Retrieved 12 June 2016, from http://www.thecehf.org/resources/OSU%20_2015%20_Research.pdf
4. Shah, PhD, Jyotsna S. “Morgellons Disease – Chronic Form Of Borrelia Infection?”. 2016. Presentation. Retrieved 12 June 2016.