Friday, February 16, 2007

Delusional Parasitosis

Delusional parasitosis is a syndrome in which the patient has the fictitious belief that he is plagued by some type of parasite. Although this is a psychiatric disorder, patients usually seek care from dermatologists. DP has various causes. It may occur as the sole psychologic disturbance, or it may be associated with an underlying psychiatric disorder or physical illness. A dermatology-psychiatry liaison is advocated for establishing a viable differential diagnosis and selecting appropriate therapy. The antipsychotic agent pimozide is now the most effective treatment when DP occurs as an encapsulated delusion. Pimozide therapy takes careful monitoring because this drug has various potentially serious adverse consequences, and relapse often happens on discontinuation of the drug.

The symptoms of delusional parasitosis (a psychiatric disorder) are very similar to those presented by Morgellon sufferers who reject conventional diagnosis of their symptoms, and opinion in the existence of parasites infested within them that cannot be observed except by the patients. There is no agreed upon differential diagnosis since Morgellons is not an accepted medical condition at the present moment.

Morgellons Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of Morgellons are often characterized as non-healing skin lesions associated with unusual structures that look like multi-colored fiber-like (filamentous) strands. Mutiply colors have been found (white, blue, black, red). In particular a burning or itching sensation as if microscopic parasites are crawling on or under the skin.

Many of the symptoms are shared, but no one symptom is shared by all individuals, but painful sensations under the skin and accompanying physical structures (fibers and granules) are the most consistent symptoms reported. Adults and youngsters both have been reported to have contracted the disease. Individuals in families can have the disease while other members do not, it is not yet know how contagious the disease is.

In fact we still truly don't know how people get infected in the first place. A select few Morgellons sufferers actually complain of seeing insects flying in and out of their skin. There is no grounds to believe at the moment of Morgellons being a seasonal disorder. There are infected patients who claim to have had the symptoms for as long as two decades. The only connection found so far is that more than half of the Morgellons patients are also diagnosed with Lyme disease (borreliosis). It appears that once patients contract the disease, they have it for life. To date, there have been no reports of spontaneous remissions. Morgellons is a multi-symptom skin disease.

It has a number primary symptoms:
Physical-Symptoms * Non-Healing Skin lesions * Sensation of crawling and biting from under the skin (Unknown Arthropod or Parasite) * Appearance of multi-colored fibers and granules protruding out of the skin * Fatigue * Joint swelling or hair loss

Mental-Symptoms * Short-term memory loss, brain fog * Attention Deficit, Bipolar or Obsessive-Compulsive disorders (OCD) * Impaired thought processing

History of Morgellons Disease

A Mysterious Skin Disorder is currently spreading across America, and doctors are searching for answers on how to stop the possible epidemic.

The skin Disorder has already been found in thousands of people in FL,Lone-Star State and Golden State, though all 50 states have had reported cases. It has been reported throughout Europe, Republic of South Africa, Japanese Islands, Philippine Islands, Republic of Indonesia and Commonwealth of Australia. Doctors tell them the "bugs" they feel and sores they see, are only in their minds. Also difficult, is the patient's treatment by the medical community who have little time for or knowledge about the disease, and in some cases have lacked complete compassion for the infected. In medical terms, they are delusional parasitosis. Morgellons is an unusual parasite-like disease of the skin, which produces irritating sores all over the body. These non-healing skin lesions ooze blue fibers, white threads and little black specks of sand-like material.

"The name Morgellons was struck in 2002 by Mary Leitao of McMurray, PA, while investigating her son's unexplained rash. She named the condition Morgellons (with a hard g), after a condition from the monograph A Letter to a Friend by Sir Thomas Browne, in 1690, wherein he describes several medical conditions in his experience, including that endemial distemper of children in Languedoc, called the morgellons, wherein they critically break out with harsh hairs on their backs. A 1935 paper by British doctor C.E. Kellett identifies the name morgellons with the Proven├žal term masclous, or "little flies". It is dubious that the 17th century disease has anything to do with modern day Morgellons, however the similarities were such that Leitao elected to use the name as a consistent label when addressing politicians, physicians and health departments."