When singer Joni Mitchell was admitted to the hospital after collapsing in her home, she told the world about her affliction, a little-known and deadly affliction called Morgellons disease.
The singer said she has been suffering from this disease for many years, so why has no treatment been available to her and others with it?
While government agencies and others claim Morgellons disease is a psychologically based mental illness that affects mainly middle-aged white women, there are those in various aspects of the medical and science fields that say Morgellons disease is possibly a man-made creation gone awry.
The ailment is the subject of much speculation, according to The New York Times.
There is plenty of skepticism about Morgellons, mainly because of the plethora of Internet-based reports seemingly created by conspiracy theorists. Theories have been presented that link Morgellons to Lyme disease, genetically modified organisms and regional location.
As more cases emerge from those who are impacted by the disease, a common pattern of symptoms are noted. The affliction is characterized by colored fibers emerging from the skin and the feeling of uncontrollable itching. Victims of the disease describe a feeling that something is "crawling" under the skin, as published by Morgellons.org.
A study was recently released indicating a commonality between Lyme disease and Morgellons disease, according to a published report in Lymedisease.org and information published on the Mayo Clinic website. A bacteria type, called Spirochetes, invades the host human or animal and develops in the body, according to a study by UC Berkeley.
Fans of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" know that Lyme disease has been plaguing "Housewife" Yolanda Foster. She has been impacted so severely by the disease that she has been unable to get out of bed, she says, and she was mostly absent from the reunion show tapings that are airing now.
There are more than 13,000 families of Morgellons sufferers registered with advocacy group Morgellons Research Foundation, Morgellons.org reported. The group has documented thousands of cases worldwide.
In a story in The Huffington Post by Dr. Edison de Mello, called What's The Big Deal About Genetically Modified Organisms, the author suggests that the science behind gene modification may have something to do with Morgellons disease.
The Morgellons Research Foundation is comprised of physicians, nurses and scientists all looking for answers and help to alleviate the disease.
Research on the disease has only just started in the last several years.
Among the early news items on it was an article in The Washington Post about an arborist and his wife who were infected with Morgellons disease.
But the Centers for Disease Control considers Morgellons disease an unexplained dermopathy.
A recent paper published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology indicates the possibility that spirochetal infection is a possible cause of bovine infection and Morgellons disease.
Scientists involved in the study of the affliction propose a name change to Borrelial Dermatitis, more accurately reflecting the prominent symptoms of the affliction. Borrelial Dermatitis symptoms are characterized by threads that come through lesions in the body. In most documented cases of the affliction, the threads are not naturally occurring and are polyethylene based.
Another study, published in EyesOpenReport.com, indicates a correlation between plant genetics and Morgellons Disease.
For years, the affliction has been dismissed as a mental illness mainly occurring in middle-aged white women. However, families and children are also being infected, according to Morgellons.org. As the medical and scientific worlds start to come forth with additional information - no cure is on the horizon - and as more patients come forward, new studies emerge.
Some say Morgellons is the result of genetic plant modification and most of the cases discovered have occurred near areas where agriculture is prominent. Most of the cases in the world have been documented in Texas, Florida and California, according to Morgellons.org.
As reported in a number of publications, fear is the No. 1 factor in victims, many of whom are reluctant to come forth for fear of being labeled as delusional, according to NaturalNews.com.
Despite all the research, very little is known about the affliction. In 2010, Mitchell said she would leave the music business to help advocate for this ailment, but she has not been strong enough to do so.
As of press time, Mitchell was still at a Los Angeles area hospital.