Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Morgellons, Again

People who think their illnesses are being ignored by their doctors seem to have a lot of political clout in America. They complain to their Congressmen, who put earmarks in the health funding bills demanding studies. Here's another, this one of people who have been diagnosed with "delusional skin infestation." People with this condition
steadfastly yet mistakenly believe that pathogens are infesting their skin. Sometimes, patients believe their skin is literally crawling with bugs, worms, or germs, which is also known as "delusions of parasitosis." In other cases, patients perceive that inanimate objects such as wood chips, fibers, or little tubes are involved.
If you think fibers are growing under your skin, that's the variant called "Morgellon's Disease." I might note that nobody who thinks his skin is "crawling with germs" is delusional, since all of our skin is crawling with germs; it's just that very few of those germs make you sick.

In this latest study, samples submitted by patients and samples from biopsies performed by medical technicians were both analyzed, and none showed evidence of parasites or other extrasomatic issues.

This is not to say, you know, that these people are not sick. Some of them have scratched their skin into a terrible state -- I read about one woman who scratched all the way through her skull and actually scratched her brain -- and really few things are more miserable than maddening itching. But for many people with constant itching, the problem is in their brains. For some reason people find this insulting, but your brain is a big mass of tissue that can have all sorts of things go wrong with it.

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