A Report on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

The Interagency Workgroup on
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity


August 24, 1998

Predecisional Draft

Table of Contents

XII. Annex of Research Suggested by Expert Reviewers

In 1997, the workgroup requested that 12 experts in occupational and/or environmental medicine, toxicology, immunology, psychology, psychiatry, and physiology review its draft report. Some reviewers suggested specific research areas that should be pursued. The workgroup chose to preserve the reviewers' research proposals, but without comment on their merits.

  • Investigate patients with common characteristics or exposure histories (e.g., similar precipitating events).
  • Conduct double-blind, placebo-controlled exposure challenges in an environmental unit to determine the prevalence of symptomatic response in patients with asthma, MCS, chronic fatigue, depression and other conditions.
  • Develop a scientifically based quality of life instrument.
  • Continue characterization of human cases in order to understand animal models.
  • Conduct multi-center studies to assist in understanding nonsubtle effects that occur with low frequency or that result from uncommon exposures in a single geographic area.
  • Research on the prevalence of MCS should be given top priority.
  • Psychiatric or psychological evaluations are tools for future research.
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and functional imaging methodologies can discern brain chemical abnormalities and may elucidate mechanisms responsible for MCS symptom manifestation.
  • Exposure studies should involve more than one experimental session.
  • Study the prevalence of chemical intolerance in defined psychiatric diagnostic groups and in temporal lobe epileptics.

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