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Morgellons disease etiology and therapeutic approach: a systematic review


Morgellons disease is characterized by patient reports of fibers embedded in and protruding from the skin. Etiologies from infection to delusion have been endorsed, and treatment guidelines are not well-defined. The objective of this manuscript is to evaluate the existing evidence regarding the etiology and treatment of Morgellons disease in an effort to better inform clinical management. A PubMed search including key words "Morgellons," "delusional parasitosis and fibers," "delusions of parasitosis and fibers," or "delusional infestation and fibers" was completed. Original publications directly assessing etiology or treatment methods of Morgellons disease published between January, 2010 and the time of manuscript preparation were reviewed and evaluated. Sixteen articles regarding etiology were reviewed. All studies were correlative in nature with various limitations. Support for a psychiatric etiology was more widespread than support for an infectious etiology. Eleven articles regarding treatment efficacy were reviewed. Antipsychotic regimens have the most evidence of efficacy. Existing data regarding Morgellons disease suggests a psychiatric etiology and supports treatment with a low-dose antipsychotic agent once non-psychiatric causes have been excluded.

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