Researcher studies mysterious illness

Sunday, January 20th 2008, 5:48 pm
By: News 9

By Craig Day, News on 6

Oklahoma researchers are looking for what's causing a mysterious illness.

The Centers for Disease Control has approved funding for the first government study on Morgellon's syndrome. Some doctors are skeptical, but patients say the strange illness causes sores with tiny fibers in them, and they say it feels like there are tiny bugs crawling all over them.

Dr. Randy Wymore at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa has been studying Morgellon's Syndrome for nearly three years.

"We're plugging right along to try to figure out what's going on here," Wymore said.

Wymore is pleased that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are calling for the first government study of Morgellon's.

"The descriptions I hear are a burning, biting sensations in the skin," Wymore said.

In addition to the sores and mysterious fibers, Morgellon's can cause short term memory loss and problems with concentration.

Some health workers think Morgellon's is a psychiatric problem. After extensive research, Dr. Wymore think there has to be a physical reason.

"Having the CDC be willing to participate actively in research suggests that they are coming around to the idea that there is a real physical disorder going on here," he said.

The CDC study, which will take place in California, will try to figure out how common the condition is, and what may be causing it. As many as 500 patients will take part in the study.

"At the very least, some physicians still might think the symptoms are very unusual, but be willing to treat them with an open mind and at least say ‘well let's see what we can do,'" Wymore said.