The CDC today released a “Request for Quotations” for their Morgellons investigation, which is basically a formality, as the only entity they would qualify to do the work is Kaiser. They also listed the lab tests that would be done (basically all the standard systemic tests).

http://www.fbo.gov/spg/HHS/CDCP/PGOA/Reference%2DNumber%2D2007%2DMorgellons/Attachments.html

They give a list of the work to be done:

2.1. Describe the clinical and epidemiologic features of persons who have reported themselves as having this unexplained skin condition, including assessing the frequency of co-morbid conditions (e.g., neurocognitive deficits, neurologic conditions, major psychiatric disorders).
2.2. Collect information to generate hypotheses about possible risk factors for this condition.
2.3. Assess the histopathologic features of the skin condition based on skin biopsies from a sample of affected patients.
2.4. Characterize fibers or threads obtained from patients with the condition to determine their potential etiology.
2.5. Describe the geographic distribution and estimate rates of illness.
2.6. Describe health care utilization among persons with the condition.

And a timeline:

4.1. IRB [Independent Review Board] Clearance October 30, 2007
4.2. Database of potential cases (study cohort) November 30, 2007
4.3. Database containing all results of clinical evaluations, Including recorded histories and physicals, laboratory tests (See Attachment 001 for required laboratory tests), chest x-rays, digital photos, neuorcognitive/neuropsychiatric examinations. March 1, 2008
4.4. All skin biopsy specimens and fiber samples collected from case-patients . March 1, 2008
4.5. Electronic database containing demographic information, zip code of residence, relevant past health history, such as medications, provider visits, and hospitalizations for cases. Database should include a unique patient identifier to allow linkage of clinical and other test results with demographic, healthcare utilization, and survey data. April 30, 2008
4.6. Database with denominators for all visits (total and by specialty) and hospitalizations during study period to allow estimation of disease rates in the population. May 30, 2008

That’s exactly what you should do if there is some evidence of a new infectious disease, parasite or environmental contamination. You get a patient population (the “study cohort”), and you investigate their symptoms, and see what they have in common, and look for common risk factors and diagnostic markers that might indicate a cause.

What’s a bit unusual here is that the patient population is “persons who have reported themselves as having this unexplained skin condition”, in other words: “people who think they have Morgellons”. This entire study is simply of people who THINK they have Morgellons. Very interesting.

The CDC are investigating Morgellons because it is an “emerging public health problem” and they have “received an increased number of inquiries from the public, health care providers, public health officials, Congress, and the media“, and “some who suffer from this condition appear to have substantial morbidity and social dysfunction, which can include decreased work productivity or job loss, total disability, familial estrangement, divorce, loss of child custody, home abandonment, and suicidal ideation“. All true, but with contested causation.

But wait a moment, why is the CDC getting ready to spend millions of dollars investigating Morgellons, when they simply could go to Oklahoma State University, where:
http://www.healthsciences.okstate.edu/morgellons/vision.cfm

OSU-CHS physicians/researchers have physical evidence of Morgellons Disease
– Morgellons is not psychiatric in origin
– Morgellons is an emergent disease

No only that, but they already have a patient population all of which can be instantly diagnosed by the appearance of fibers under the skin.
http://www.healthsciences.okstate.edu/morgellons/docs/Wymore-position-statement-2-19-07.pdf

Of the thirty or so patients claiming to have Morgellons disease, that clinical faculty have examined in facilities associated with OSU, only one patient likely did not have Morgellons.

100% of the patients, that were felt to genuinely have Morgellons Disease, have large microscopic-to small macroscopic fibers visible under their outer layer of skin.

There are doctors and professors there who have been looking at this for years, and have sufficient evidence to convince themselves 100%:
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/medical/stories/MYSA072406.morgellons.KENS.1e13fade.html

“I am 100 percent convinced that Morgellons is a real disease pathology,” said Dr. Randy Wymore, an assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology at OSU.

Dr. Rhonda Casey has examined more than 30 Morgellons patients.
“There’s no question in my mind that it’s a real disease,” she said.

So if Oklahoma State University has already figured this out, why don’t they help out the CDC? Do they actually have any evidence? Could it be they’ve been a little hasty in their certainty? Perhaps a little unscientific? Or could they save the CDC some money?

9 Responses to “CDC vs. OSU”

  1. Bravo Michael!! Outstanding- clear, presice and uhh…very accurate.

  2. I haven’t commented for several months, but have followed all the posts and most of the comments. This post by Michaelllans is excellent and sums up so much of the story line to date. Yes, Bravo Michael. It is unfortunate you have to be a little sarcastic, but those so called professionals who claim to be “convinced” truly deserve it. I think this post will prove to be very valuable in the effort to bring reason and truth into this controversy, and aid in the recovery of those affected by misinformation spread on the internet. Your unselfish willingness to keep this blog going using your invaluable retirement time is to be commended.

  3. Hi! I hope you can help us?! My friend has the Morgellons symptoms and nobody seems to take her seriously… last week she was seriously suicidal.. i have real concerns for her. She is a normal 40 year old lady who is really sane.. but the doctors just see her as paranoid or suffering from parasitic psychosis.. sure, maybe.. i went with her to the GP who seemed to understand, but just asked her what she wanted her to do about it.. out of her realm! She is waiting to go back to another dermatologist.. we know that it is a very rare condition and no known cure or even definition to the symptoms. I have cared for psychiatric patients for several years. One service user had very similar symptoms.. i am sure it is probably the same condition! At our wits end!

    Well, if anybody can help Terri.. please do respond! So desperate!!!

    -Susie

  4. Hello, Susie/Terri. I don’t wish to have it seem that I’m taking this out of context, however:

    nobody seems to take her seriously

    last week she was seriously suicidal

    Threats of suicide (“seriously suicidal”) are too often ignored, and then, it’s to late!!!
    You certainly know this, but, ESPECIALLY if you “have cared for psychiatric patients for several years”. Get your friend in to see somebody to discuss what is going on. N-O-W.

  5. They don’t want to start doing any “real” research on it because they don’t want people finding out those fibers are actually made up of nanoparticles that connect together. And they sure don’t want people to start asking “well, if these fibers are not made by the human body, and they’re made out of unknown materials, and they’re nanotechnology, what and where do they come from?!?”

  6. Diane….

    Maybe Dupont could answer that one. MIT sure could. But ya know, thinking back on when “Morgellons Fibers” were featured on that Medical Mystery show last summer, well, hmm…They”SAID” it matched nothing in their database. (cough, cough)
    Can you say who controls the media???? What a crock of crap!! We need some rebels, not subservient, docile people…
    Where are they??? Someone help stop the lies!

    London

  7. I’m certain the CDC will conduct the investigation thoroughly and in an unbiased manner, which is exactly why they are not utilizing OSU’s findings or labs, and taking the time to get IRB certified, a necessary process for anyone conducting research on the up and up. Furthermore, it’s necessary for them to recruit people who believe themselves to have the disease, as there is no other single symptom that they could target. Additionally, there is no need for them to have a ‘control group’ so to speak in this case. The control is what is viewed in normal, healthy people. If they need to compare skin, blood, urine, or any other kind of samples from those recruited, they can simply access a database containing the characteristics of what is normal and utilize those as a ‘control’.

    I’m anxious to see what they find, whether it turns out to be a ‘new disease’ or simply a ‘new classification’ for a specific mental disorder, their decision and research will clear up (hopefully) a lot of the misinformation that is available.

  8. So you don’t think there would be a vast number of people who have the symptoms, but don’t think they have Morgellons (mostly because they have never heard of it)?

    The question the CDC is really asking here is: “why do these people think they have Morgellons”.

    If it was purely physical, then they could just search their patient database for peole with matching symptoms. But no – the defining aspect of the cohort is a belief.

  9. The only possible way to really see for yourself (that somthing is really there) is to have a patient who is having outbreaks. I notice the disease will go through stages. it may disappear for months, but when it returns, it bites and stings an area, and when you put peroxide on it after scrapping the site it is then that you see these things coming out. so taking samples of dead tissue may show them, but I see them moving out of my skin when I watch after using medication. benadryl helps alittle

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