L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Humans cannot synthesize it and must obtain the compound from their nutritional diet. It is used in the biosynthesis of proteins and is a precursor to the important neurotransmitter serotonin.
L-Tryptophan is converted in your brain to 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) which in turn is converted to the neurotransmitter Serotonin, which is then modified to Melatonin. L-Tryptophan, 5-HTP and Melatonin can be purchased today as dietary supplements, but it is important to understand that chemically they are all very similar, containing what is known as an indole ring. All three have been implicated in possible onset of EMS-like symptoms in recent times.
There is little research continuing in the effort to find a cure for Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome. This is due to the fact that the epidemic stopped soon after L-Tryptophan was recalled by the FDA and that the numbers of those infected were relatively small in comparison to victims of other diseases. Additionally, since the genetically engineered bacterium is no longer available, definitive experiments cannot be done to resolve the problem. There is some information available, however, which may be helpful to you when explaining what you have to physicians and family.
"Under the 1994 DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), I can sell hemlock as a supplement. It's pure. It's natural. And as Socrates found out, it just as naturally kills you."
-Victor Herbert, professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and
Is there a test for EMS?
Unfortunately, there is no conclusive medical test to prove if you have EMS. That is one of the most frustrating aspects of coping with this disease. For the most part, doctors don't know much about EMS. They often do not believe you when you tell them you have EMS. For newly sick patients, many doctors will not even consider a diagnosis of EMS.
For now, we can only print articles from our medical page to help educate the physicians. These three are recommended:
Current EMS Research Articles:
Older EMS Research Articles: