Multiple Chemical Sensitivity News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy may benefit multiple chemical sensitivity sufferers

MCS Carbon-Filter Face MaskA pilot study in which people suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity received weekly sessions of mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy has shown the treatment can have significant benefits in terms of how patients cope with their illness and also through improved sleep.  

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic condition in which those affected experience an array of non-specific symptoms including headaches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, cognitive dysfunction, and a general feeling of being unwell, when exposed to minute amounts of chemical triggers such as synthetic fragrances and industrial pollution.

Researchers at The Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities based at Copenhagen University Hospital describe MCS as "...a medically unexplained and socially disabling disorder characterized by negative health effects attributed to exposure to common airborne chemicals." Recognizing a lack of treatment options for the illness and having seen mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MCBT) produce improvements in patients suffering from related conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia, the Danish team performed the pilot study to determine if MCBT would also bring about positive change in MCS patients.

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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity caused by hypersensitivity of the brain

Brain ScanNew research into multiple chemical sensitivity shows that the brains of sufferers respond more easily and more strongly to stimuli than those of healthy individuals, supporting the 'central sensitization' theory as an explanation for the illness.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic condition in which those affected experience an array of non-specific symptoms including headaches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, cognitive dysfunction, and a general feeling of being unwell, when exposed to minute amounts of chemical triggers such as synthetic fragrances and industrial pollution.

The few scientists and physicians who have been actively investigating this disabling and increasingly common condition over the past few decades have long suspected that an initial sensitization of the brain might result in neurons subsequently firing when exposed to levels of stimuli that would normally be ignored. This would translate into someone affected by MCS having an unusually high level of brain activity when exposed to triggering chemicals and experiencing a host of neurologically-based symptoms such as those mentioned previously.

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New dating site for those with invisible illnesses and chemical sensitivity

Happy CoupleWhen you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or other 'invisible illness' that involves chemical injury and the need to avoid a wide range of everyday substances, dating can be almost impossible. Canary Singles, a new dating website specifically for those affected by chemical injury, is intended to help fellow canaries meet.

The site, launched last week, was created by holistic health counselor and fellow MCSer (someone with MCS), Cynthia Perkins. With degrees in psychology and counseling, Perkins is well placed to understand the importance of an understanding partner when coping with an illness like MCS which can be so isolating. 

The following is an overview of the problems those with MCS and other invisible illnesses face when looking for someone special to share their life with - and importantly, someone who understands their illness. Perkins also provides further details about Canary Singles including a special offer for those joining the site between now and mid-October.

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Scientists search for reliable biomarkers in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Scientist Doing Lab WorkAfter years out in the medical and scientific wilderness, researchers are starting to take a serious look at the underlying pathological mechanisms at work in multiple chemical sensitivity in seach of a reliable biomarker that would revolutionise diagnosis and treatment.

Italian researchers examined all available evidence regarding scientific, medical and social aspects of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and related environmental Illnesses (EI) with an emphasis on the biological abnormalities thus far uncovered which might point the way to the development of a biomarker that could be used clinically.

Among the biological dysfunctions noted by other researchers and discussed in this review are immunological dysregulation, neurogenic inflammation, limbic kindling and neural sensitization, toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT), altered xenobiotic metabolism, altered nitric oxide/peroxynitrite cycle (NO/ONOO-). Those familiar with MCS research will recognise these to be the key experiemental findings and leading hypotheses for explaining the pathogenesis and ongoing pathophysiology in the condition.

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Study investigates coping strategies of those affected by multiple chemical sensitivity

Man Wearing Face Mask Outdoors​Swedish researchers have published results from a study looking at the coping strategies employed by chemically intolerant individuals and the social support they receive.

Chemical intolerance (CI), commonly referred to as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), leaves sufferers unable to tolerate manmade chemicals present in the environment, particularly synthetic fragrances found in perfumes, colognes, deodourants and laundry products. Upon exposure to even tiny amounts, those affected develop a host of symptoms ranging from breathing difficulties to rashes, depression and neurological disorders.

Despite the large numbers of people affected (estimated at 5-15% in developed nations) and the suffering and disability caused by CI, it is currently only recognised as a genuine medical condition by a handful of governments and medical care is sorely lacking. As a result those affected are all too often left to cope with their condition and its life-altering limitations with little or no support.

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