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Exploring the association between Morgellons disease and Lyme disease: Borrelia burgdorferi in Morgellons disease patients

Background

Morgellons disease (MD) is a complex skin disorder characterized by ulcerating lesions that have protruding or embedded071806.04 filaments. Many clinicians refer to this condition as delusional parasitosis or delusional infestation and consider the filaments to be introduced textile fibers. In contrast, recent studies indicate that MD is a true somatic illness associated with tickborne infection, that the filaments are keratin and collagen in composition and that they result from proliferation and activation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the skin. Previously, spirochetes have been detected in the dermatological specimens from four MD patients, thus providing evidence of an infectious process.

Conclusions

Our study using multiple detection methods confirms that MD is a true somatic illness associated with Borrelia spirochetes that cause Lyme disease. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal treatment for this spirochete-associated dermopathy.

Discussion

Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, MD continues to be attributed to delusions of parasitosis or delusional infestation [19]-[23]. The earlier studies demonstrating Borrelia spirochetes in MD dermatological specimens have involved only a small number of study subjects, and therefore a study involving a larger number of subjects was needed.

A major strength of our study is that MD patients were identified based on the presence of multicolored fibers within skin 2014-02-18_13-58-21_IMG_0667lesions or detectable under unbroken skin. Some of our patients did suffer from neuropsychiatric symptoms, and we do not deny that primary delusional infestation can occur in rare cases [1]-[4]. By selecting only MD patients meeting our dermopathy criterion, however, we have presumably excluded primary delusional infestation patients from our study. Although some MD patients suffering from neuropsychiatric symptoms with Borrelia-associated intradermal filaments may claim to have worms, parasites or the like, the skin crawling and stinging sensations that these patients feel coupled with visible skin lesions, anxiety and anthropomorphic thinking may result in complaints that are misinterpreted by clinicians as a primary delusional disorder. Other MD patients in our study had no neuropsychiatric symptoms and yet had the same Borrelia-associated dermopathy, so it appears that in our well-defined MD patient cohort these symptoms, when they occurred, were the result rather than the cause of the infectious dermopathy, as previously described [1]-[4],[23].

Conclusions

We undertook a detailed microscopic and molecular study of North American MD patients to investigate the presence of borrelial spirochetes systemically and in dermatological specimens. Based on culture, histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and molecular testing, we present extensive evidence for spirochetal infection in MD patients. Our study confirms that MD is a true somatic illness associated with Lyme disease. The proposed clinical classification scheme for MD should aid in the diagnosis and treatment of this complex illness.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Drs. Stewart Adams, Robert Allan, Gordon Atkins, Robert Bransfield, George Chaconas, Douglas Demetrick, Dorte Dopfer, Christopher Hardy, Doug Kahn, Alan MacDonald, Steve McClain, Elizabeth Rasmussen, Ginger Savely and Janet Sperling for helpful discussion. We thank Joel Israel for technical support and Lorraine Johnson for manuscript review, and we are grateful to Cindy Casey and the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation for funding support.

071806.11

Morgellons News Update; 7th Annual Morgellons Research Conference

One of the important functions we try to provide to the community is staying up-to-date on current Morgellons research so we pulled out the stops at the conference to be sure we had the intel we needed.

NutraSilver would like to thank Cindy Casey-Holman, Executive Director of the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation (CEHF), for her tireless efforts to make this a very successful conference; without her,new bottle it would not have been as successful as it was.

Meet the “They” you Refer to When you Speak of Morgellons Researchers

The Charles E. Holman Foundation is the only credible organization doing any meaningful scientific research in the world. This organization is ground zero for all Morgellons research and has dedicated research scientists working diligently to find the cause and cure for Morgellons Disease. The methods they use, including double-blind and peer-reviewed published findings are recognized by the scientific community at large.

  • Cindy Casey-Holman, RN; Morgellons sufferer, founder and executive director of the CEHF. She is a registered nurse with nearly 20 years of experience in critical care. Like many of you, she was diagnosed with delusional parasitosis at UCSF (medical professionals trying to tell her it was all in her head). She is the founder of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Charles E. Holman Foundation, the primary source of credible scientific research on Morgellons Disease.
  • Marianne Middleveen, Mdes: A microbiologist and Lyme disease sufferer herself, she was instrumental in the detection and isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi, which is found in both Morgellons and lyme disease.
  • Dr. Ginger Savely, DNP: Has a doctorate in nursing practice; has received many awards for her research into Morgellons disease. She has treated thousands of Lyme patients and over 600 Morgellons patients during the last 12 years. Considered by her colleagues to be one of the top experts in the USA, she is the first scientist to associate Lyme with Morgellons Disease.
  • Dr. Randy Wymore, PhD: Director of the Center for the Investigation of Morgellons Disease at Oklahoma State University is the coauthor of 17 Morgellons articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Dr. Greg Smith, MD; a pediatrician and Morgellons sufferer has worked for the Morgellons Research Foundation and is one of the Founders of the Charles E. Holman Foundation. Dr. Smith works tirelessly to advance this important research about the mysteries of Morgellons disease.

There are many more “heroes” conducting research into Morgellons at Universities and research labs throughout the country.

What Has Been Discovered and Reported?

At the conference, there was much discussion among presenters regarding the presence of Borrelia, Bartonella and Helicobacter pylori in Morgellons skin samples. The exact etiology of Morgellons Disease remains unknown071806.11 while the consistent presence of these pathogens and their absence in controls is being further explored in larger study groups.

In addition, both university research presenters, Randy Wymore, PhD, OSU and Cheryl Bandoski, MS, UNH discussed their results of metagenomic analyses and more techniques being used to identify any other potential pathogens within Morgellons samples to be compared with controls.

To date there has been no evidence to suggest a fungal involvement in Morgellons pathology nor is there any evidence to suggest that genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) or genetically modified foods are involved. There was some speculation that Morgellons could be yet another cutaneous manifestation of Lyme Disease.

Probably some of the best news is that experts were all in agreement that Morgellons is not contagious by casual contact.

Are you tired of all the “conspiracy theories” read about on the internet?

Well, so are we!

If you want real, meaningful research, it costs a lot of time and money to do so.

It is time for Morgellons sufferers to put their eye on real scientific research that is recognized by so-called “main-stream” medicine. You can do that by supporting the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation with your tax-free donations.

The reality is that it costs many thousands of dollars to do this research. NutraSilver has already invested a large sum towards their research and we would like to encourage you to contribute as much as you can afford, even if it is just a few dollars; every bit helps.

Please, if you want real research, do the right thing; contact them here and offer your pledge to support this important effort, or, you can contribute directly at this link. You can also mail your contribution to:

The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation
P.O. Box 1109
Lone Star, Texas 75668–1109

The Charles E. Holman Foundation is a Federal 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible. Please provide a correct mailing address and they will return a tax donation receipt.