The Interagency Workgroup on
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
August 24, 1998
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
- 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
- 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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