Four new cases of unknown disease linked to MRI scans

Image copyright UK Ministry of Defence Image caption The UK’s Ministry of Defence medical unit will investigate the cases

A generation-old case of agents after seemingly random MRI scans in people has been linked to several high-profile cases in the US.

Three new studies, published in the medical journal BMJ Open, have linked it to a British marine officer and a US Marine Sergeant.

One of the studies, by a team led by US and British researchers, identifies another case in a patient in Hong Kong, bringing the number of cases in the US to four.

The other two studies focus on Taiwan and South Korea.

The Science Media Centre (SMC) has collected all the papers, with links to all the articles here .

The cases in the US were all handled by the US Navy’s Iraq and Afghanistan Service Veterans Health Care System (EAVHCS).

The NCIS said in response: “The NCIS could not comment on this information until the other two investigations into Dr Fruhling, Dr Irena Dlamini and Sgt N’Djamena had been completed.

“However, any suggestion that there are more cases not yet identified is not correct. The NCIS has reviewed over 800 cases of the potentially-caused disease.”

A key point is the cases in the US, rather than the UK, were all handled by the same system, the SMC said.

There are thought to be hundreds of cases of mitochondrial diseases around the world, after CVID-19 was originally discovered in the 1980s.

The two papers published in the SMC’s newsroom underline the poor understanding of what is causing the illness.

Image copyright Shutterstock Image caption Dr Abraham Reimer’s daughter was devastated when she turned up at school with a limp

One paper describes a 51-year-old US marine sergeant who went to the World War II Memorial in Washington DC after suffering a bad reaction to antibiotics. He became unwell after being scanned in a hospital’s doctors’ office.

After medics diagnosed CVID-19, they told him there was nothing they could do and he was to die.

He was given a spinal tap and a CT scan but the results were not convincing and the diagnosis was not confirmed.

He ended up undergoing surgery to correct his brain anomaly.

Image copyright Google Image caption Portraits of a number of patients with the mitochondrial disorders

A detailed analysis of the patient’s CT scan showed a series of irregular discolourations near the spine, which led the authors to connect the abnormal scan results to CVID-19.

Another case study in the SMC’s newsroom shows a US marine lieutenant colonel and captain who was suffering from CVID-19 when she saw MRI scans at a hospital in Texas.

The team speculated that CVID-19 could be one of the main causes of the diagnosis by a US naval radiologist in the loo of an aged military hospital in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

The military doctor was not to know that she was misdiagnosing a soldier who had been suffering from the illness since the 1970s.

“As of this date, nine [Americans] have died as a result of the misdiagnosis and 57 suffered adverse effects from the subsequent surgery,” the authors said.

Image copyright SCC Image caption Cynthia Abbot died when she was 29 years old after a recent MRI scan


Three studies published in BMJ Open over the past three weeks all suggest that CVID-19 is probably not caused by an unknown toxin.

All examine men who had tumours caused by CVID-19 but were not given treatment.

Two of the studies looked at patients in Japan – two men and two women – who had been diagnosed with the illness, but were not otherwise ill.

A third study examined two patients in the UK.

Dr Ayraj Dhani, the lead author of the first UK study, told BBC News: “The body was absorbing the toxin produced by the abnormal DNA and depositing it into the cell by attaching to it.

“Therefore in the patient’s head they would see it as cloudy dark but on the inside the brain would be bright white. These white patches have been almost clinical features of CVID.”

Dr Dhani said that the UK Defence Medical Service – the main response to such cases – regularly treated a number of patients suffering from the illness but it is unclear how many died as a result.

He said his team was carrying out an analysis of some cases to try to find out if more deaths could be related to the illness.

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