Morgellons disease, illuminating an undefined illness

Morgellons disease, illuminating an undefined illness: a case seriesMorgellons disease is a physical human illness with life-altering effects that, although described in various forms for over 300 years, is still surrounded by confusion and controversy. Morgellons is fast becoming a major condition in the 21st century, with over 13,000 people from the U.S. and 15 other countries registered on the ‘Morgellons Research Foundation‘ website.

The term “Morgellons” was first used in 1674 to describe the unusual dermal condition of a child. It has since then shifted predominantly to adults and is largely characterized by the presence of skin lesions and “extruding fibres”.

Morgellons disease (MD) has been linked with many theories and conspiracies since it first appeared on the Internet in 2002. These range from parasites to a chemical spill, a failed government experiment and even to alien abductions.

Given the growing use of the label “Morgellons disease”, characterizing the illness using verifiable clinical data seems an imperative first step for clinicians, with the aim of improving diagnosis consistency. Representing the first formal description of MD from detailed examination of all body systems, this week William T Harvey and colleagues published their case series in the Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR).

The quantification of physical and laboratory abnormalities in this article, allows the creation of a practical clinical boundary to distinguish probable Morgellons from non-Morgellons patients. Although presumed as a delusional phenomenon for decades, the factual data obtained in this case series, support the argument that Morgellons manifest formally as a skin condition, an immune deficiency state and a chronic inflammatory process.

During peer-review, reviewers considered that this new case series “provides solid ground for debate and discussion… which will surely benefit patients with these symptoms” and is an “excellent paper that is recommended strongly”. So to read the full details the case series, click here, or visit the JMCR home page.

Have you treated patients who have presented with self-diagnosed Morgellons disease? Have you seen symptoms similar to those described in Harvey’s cases? We would love to hear your comments – simply click below. If you have experience of this in the clinic and would like to publish a case report, then view our instructions for authors.

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2 Responses to “Morgellons disease, illuminating an undefined illness”

  1. Disappointed Says:

    This report is too little, too late. Doctors in the USA are so far behind in dealing with this, and every other, infectious illness that it is laughable.

    The evidence was always there. Nevertheless, the Morgellons case described herein is a small, however late and inadequate, start by medicine to finally do its duty.

  2. mollie edwards Says:

    I had Morgellon’s for five years. I am an RN and 68 years of age. I have much information I would love to share.

    Contact me Mollie Edwards RN

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