Until fairly recently, Morgellons disease was dismissed by the medical community as a psychological illness which alienated thousands of people suffering the same symptoms. Over the span of its controversial existence, many arguments were put forth as to how it may be physiological as opposed to just a mental condition. One such argument was the proceeds of lymes disease bacteria which was causing thread like substances to appear in lesions and intense itchiness. However, whilst this may have taken the debate forward, it was found that not everyone diagnosed with Morgellons had the presence of Lymes in their blood.
New research which has been funded by private donations as found new evidence that Morgellons may still be closely linked with another tick-bourne disease, Borrelia which in turn can cause Lymes in certain people. Back in 2013, preliminary results showed a small sample size of Morgellons sufferers all had the Borrelia bacteria but due to the sample size and lack of repeatability in the result, it went unnoticed in the medical community. It refuted that Morgellons lesions are self inflicted and that an infection of Borrelia may be significant factor in the symptoms of the 4 randomly selected MD patients.
However, following that initial study, numerous peer-reviewed, independent studies were carried out which all seemed to point in the same direction; the Morgellons symptoms showed correlation with a process of infection, especially with symptoms such as joint pain, extreme fatigue and dizziness. The next study confirmed the previous results with a larger sample size of 25 (Middelveen, Bandoski et all, 2016), where 24 out of the 25 patients were confined to have Borrelia Spirochetes, which causes Lyme diseases. Whilst it was accepted that delusional infestation could have occurred, the sample size consisted of patients that all had the presence of multi-coloured fibres within skin lesions or under broken skin. Furthermore, testing of the fibres found that in fact, these were composed of keratin and collagen which supports the theory that they are produced from the epithelial cells in the deeper layers of the skin and not from the environment as doctors have previously claimed.
This study perhaps opened the floodgates to much greater research and treatment as it confirms the existence of Morgellons. Another study carried out by Hefley, Rice et al (2016) also concludes that unusual microbial organisms were identified in Morgellons epithelial tissue samples.
Whilst the sentiment from the physicians is unclear following these extensive studies, acceptance of MD as a physiological disease is long overdue. The sooner all parties involved work together, the greater the access to funding will be to help identify effective treatment for sufferers. The findings from these papers would suggest that if Borrelia is the trigger, then we may be seeing an increase in tick-bourne disease across the world. It raises many new questions; is this an infection disease? Why do we not notice larger, more localised groups of Morgellons sufferers if it is potentially transmitted through ticks?
If the progress of research continues as we have seen, which it most likely will with the support of government funding, it is bound to bring fruitful results to the benefit of doctors and patients alike.