Self-reporting of symptom development from exposure to radiofrequency fields of wireless smart meters in victoria, australia: a case series.
PMID: 25478801 [PubMed - in process]
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a poorly clinically and biologically defined environment-associated syndrome. Although dysfunctions of phase I/phase II metabolizing enzymes and redox imbalance have been hypothesized, corresponding genetic and metabolic parameters in MCS have not been systematically examined.
We sought for genetic, immunological, and metabolic markers in MCS.
We genotyped patients with diagnosis of MCS, suspected MCS and Italian healthy controls for allelic variants of cytochrome P450 isoforms (CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP3A5), UDP-glucuronosyl transferase (UGT1A1), and glutathione S-transferases (GSTP1, GSTM1, and GSTT1). Erythrocyte membrane fatty acids, antioxidant (catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD)) and glutathione metabolizing (GST, glutathione peroxidase (Gpx)) enzymes, whole blood chemiluminescence, total antioxidant capacity, levels of nitrites/nitrates, glutathione, HNE-protein adducts, and a wide spectrum of cytokines in the plasma were determined.
Allele and genotype frequencies of CYPs, UGT, GSTM, GSTT, and GSTP were similar in the Italian MCS patients and in the control populations. The activities of erythrocyte catalase and GST were lower, whereas Gpx was higher than normal. Both reduced and oxidised glutathione were decreased, whereas nitrites/nitrates were increased in the MCS groups. The MCS fatty acid profile was shifted to saturated compartment and IFNgamma, IL-8, IL-10, MCP-1, PDGFbb, and VEGF were increased.
Altered redox and cytokine patterns suggest inhibition of expression/activity of metabolizing and antioxidant enzymes in MCS. Metabolic parameters indicating accelerated lipid oxidation, increased nitric oxide production and glutathione depletion in combination with increased plasma inflammatory cytokines should be considered in biological definition and diagnosis of MCS.
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Little is known about the potential clinical relevance of non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS) reported by patients with self-reported environmental sensitivities. This study aimed to assess NSPS in people with general environmental sensitivity (GES) and idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) and to determine differences in functional status and illness behavior.
An epidemiological study was conducted in the Netherlands, combining self-administered questionnaires with the electronic medical records of the respondents as registered by general practitioners. Analyses included n=5789 registered adult (≥18years) patients, comprising 5073 non-sensitive (NS) individuals, 514 in the GES group and 202 in the IEI-EMF group.
Participants with GES were about twice as likely to consult alternative therapy compared to non-sensitive individuals; those with IEI-EMF were more than three times as likely. Moreover, there was a higher prevalence of symptoms and medication prescriptions and longer symptom duration among people with sensitivities. Increasing number and duration of self-reported NSPS were associated with functional impairment, illness behavior, negative symptom perceptions and prevalence of GP-registered NSPS in the examined groups.
Even after adjustment for medical and psychiatric morbidity, environmentally sensitive individuals experience poorer health, increased illness behavior and more severe NSPS. The number and duration of self-reported NSPS are important components of symptom severity and are associated with characteristics similar to those of NSPS in primary care. The substantial overlap between the sensitive groups strengthens the notion that different types of sensitivities might be part of one, broader environmental illness.