Morgellons disease, a little-known and often discounted illness, lacks the solid scientific data needed to point to a definitive cause.
Randy S. Wymore, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology has taken on the research challenge in his academic research.
"Health care providers are shooting in the dark as to how to treat it. Antibiotics seem to help some, but if they are stopped the symptoms come back," Wymore says.
In coordinating research efforts, he sees a research challenge and a chance to help.
"I am doing this partly from scientific curiosity, but also with real empathy toward sufferers."
Complete Position Statement
- Preliminary evidence suggests that Morgellons Disease is not DOP (delusions of parasites).
- Is it one disease, or a complex syndrome?
- Is the cause of lesions biological, environmental or genetic?
- How do we cure the disease or give relief to the sufferers?
- environmental contamination
"We just do not know. There is not enough evidence yet," Wymore says.
- A scientific advisory board directs research steps as we progress in our studies.
- We initiate controlled, detailed studies of Morgellons sufferers. After approval by the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, samples will come directly from patients in a clinical setting.
- We look for any new or unusual specimens in the slowly-healing lesions by collecting specimens from known sufferers.
- Once received, the samples are de-identified so that they are anonymous to researchers and faculty and the samples from patients are analyzed for unusual microbial organisms.
- PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is used to amplify DNA, followed by DNA sequence analysis.
- The unusual fibers are analyzed chemically using spectroscopic techniques to determine the composition.