Morgellons has been found to be all in a person’s mind, according to a recent report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers. The feeling of bugs crawling on your skin and fibers embedded and sprouting out of the skin which causes sores; it’s all in the person’s head.
“We found no infectious cause,” said Mark Eberhard, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official who was part of the 15-member study team.
The study was published January 25, 2012 in the journal PLoS One and cost around $600,000. Researchers focused the Morgellons study on more than 3 million people who lived in 13 counties in Northern California. The locations were chosen because everyone in the study had health insurance covered through Kaiser Permanente of Northern California. Plus, most of the government 20 some calls from people a day describing such symptoms came from that area.
The CDC went through Kaiser patient records between July 2006 through June 2008 and they were able to reach around 115 of them who had what sounded like Morgellons symptoms. Most of the research patients were middle-aged white women. Broken down, it’s about 4 out of 100,000 Kaiser patients that are “infected” with this “disease.” Which turns out, it’s not an infectious disease at all.
Researchers gathered blood, urine, physical and psychological tests, skin biopsies, but it all came back pretty normal. They also took fibers from 12 people and sent them to be tested by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, but again, all normal. They found cotton and nylon mostly, nothing out of the norm.
“There’s been a great deal of fixation, on everybody’s part, with those fibers,” Eberhard said. Previous reports included patients bringing fibers they said had emerged from their skin to their doctors, but “there was no way to validate, scientifically, where the fibers came from,” Eberhard said.
The sores that morgellon patients had were from them scratching at the area from eczema or bug bites, not from any sort of disease or infection.
With no explaination of what this was, study author Felicia Goldstein, an Emory University neurology professor, said the “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Perhaps the patients could be helped by cognitive behavioral therapy that might help them deal with possible contributing psychological issues.”