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Morgellons - Fake Disease, Nanoparticles or Something Else?

Updated on September 21, 2012

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photo from tortuga767 Flickr
photo from tortuga767 Flickr

Morgellons - Karjoo Phenomenon

The influx of toxic nanoparticles into citizen's daily lives has been the concern of nanotoxicologists for quite some time, but generally the specific toxic effects have been classified in a somewhat general way depending on the symptoms being expressed. Lung inflammation or oxidative damage , for example, could be a couple of the harmful effects from these toxic nanoparticles, however, for the most part these particles have not been isolated as the cause of any specific diseases although there are exceptions. Fear that they may cause cancer and similar illnesses has been widespread. This until recently where Doctor Rahim Karjoo of the Morgellons Medical Center has put forth a theory and some underlying investigative evidence that toxic silica nanoparticles could actually be the cause of a mysterious disease known as Morgellons Disease or the Karjoo Phenomena - a disease of the skin, hair and its follicle.

Many dermatologists and doctors (as well as the CDC) have classified Morgellons Syndrome as a delusional parasitosis. A stay at home mom Mary Leitao was the first to recognize and bring Morgellons to the attention of the medical community when her 3 year old was experiencing lip irritation and complained of "bugs" with his limited vocabulary. Morgellons symptoms as she discovered (under a toy microscope at first although she was a biologist/medical researcher by trade and eventually confirmed this through a real biology lab) were cutaneous blue, black, white, and red fibers emerging from and within the skin of her toddler. After many doctor visits the professionals surmised that she and the toddler were probably suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. In other words, she was psychotic and leading her son to believe he was ill for attention seeking reasons. Despite the denial of the medical community, people across the globe have come forward with similar symptoms and even semi-famous songwriter Joni Mitchell was diagnosed with this delusion of parasites. The interesting thing about these fibers is that they fluoresce under varying light conditions much as we know nanoparticles do due to their nanoscale size and quantum behavior. Joni Mitchell described it as "fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm" and explained that they look almost alien under daylight conditions and that they were quite embarrassing. She was also sent to a psychiatrist.


Before the Morgellon's "outbreak," Dr. Rahim Karjoo was working on toxic effects and skin conditions of patients who had silicone implants. He noted that the removal of the implants generally ured their condition and started to utilize his pathology work to look into the cause of Morgellons Disease. He has now released a statement that silica (silicon nanoparticles) can be the cause of Morgellons Disease mystery as the toxic nanoparticles interact with hair follicles to cause the irritation which sufferers have said leads to later neurological damage. Karjoo only studied silicone dioxide nanoparticles when investigating the Karjoo phenomena, but other NPs may also contribute to the toxicity - a titanium dioxide nanoparticle is another such example. As a flow agent in the manufacturing of powdered foods to insect control products and pharmaceuticals, silicon dioxide nanoparticles are becoming more prevalent in daily lives and the environment. Nanoparticles in sunscreens and cosmetics are increasing as well. The FDA has recently released new plans to limit the use of NPs in packaging and other areas, but there is a long way to go and much is still unknown about the complete toxicology model of these various nanostructures. Tulsa police crime lab in Oklahoma investigated the fibers and found no match in their database and concluded that the fibers could be manmade. Karjoo's findings regarding the silica need to be confirmed, but it makes theoretical sense based on the evidence that toxic nanoparticles may indeed be the cause.

Morgellons Disease - The hysteria is rampant - Nanobots, Fibrous Parasites, Or...

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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Fascinating. I've never heard of this before and it is clearly easy to understand, but disappointingly so, the medical skeptisism of the average physician. It takes a very interested researcher to investigate and study something like this phenomenon. Thanks for sharing this very new info to me. :)

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Wow. This is fascinating and frightening. So many things are happening because of chemicals, GMO foods, and excess consumption of processed foods. I had never heard of this and find it scary. Thanks for the information on Morgellons.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      The obvious first step in an investigation of Morgellan's would be to analyze the mystery fibers in Leitao's child's skin. Voted up and interesting.