Friday, April 4, 2014

Antibiotic Treatment of Arthritis:

The Road Back and MIRA Therapy 

© Liz Schmitz, Georgia Lyme Disease Association, 4.4.14 

Thomas McPherson Brown, MD

When Dr. Thomas McPherson Brown appeared on a television interview with Joan Lunden in 1988, she said that his antibiotic arthritis treatment protocol was “turning the medical world upside down.”  Quietly, he replied, “I’m trying to turn it right side up.” 

Dr. Brown was working at the Rockefeller Institute just before World War II when he discovered something interesting in the joint fluid of an arthritic patient – an ”L-form” bacteria-like agent.  (It was later identified as a cell-wall-deficient organism now known as, mycoplasma.)   Thus, Dr. Brown wondered whether an infection might be causing the woman’s arthritis.  He began treating her and other arthritis patients with low-level doses of the antibiotic tetracycline, later turning to doxycycline and minocycline instead.  Remarkably, he reported that while the antibiotic therapy wasn’t a cure, it was an effective treatment for about 90% of the patients he treated, as long as they "stuck with it." Other medical providers who tried Brown's protocol with their arthritic patients reported similar results. 

As head of the arthritis research program at the Veteran’s Administration, medical consultant to the White House and Dean of Medicine at George Washington University Medical School, Dr. Brown was well-respected.  In fact, because his treatment helped so many, he became so popular among patients that they formed a vocal advocacy group of over 10,000 people.  They were known as "Doctor Brown's Army."  Still (or maybe because of this), he and his antibiotic therapy were sharply criticized by many in the medical community.  Finally, following his death, the results of a National Institutes of Health clinical trial supported Brown’s claims - his treatment protocol was indeed effective.  Over half the patients enrolled in the NIH “Minocycline in Rheumatoid Arthritis” (MIRA) study had improvement in joint pain and swelling.  An even greater number showed objective improvement in their blood test results. 

There have now been more than seven major studies published about Brown's antibiotic arthritis therapy.  Described in the book The Road Back: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Its Cause and Its Treatment, Dr. Brown’s protocol has benefited thousands of suffering people worldwide.  It continues to be used successfully today (often with rave reviews) and not only by arthritis patients, but by people with other inflammatory connective tissue diseases such as lupus, fibromyalgia and scleroderma, as well.  

For more information, visit the website:  and read the book The Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell.

GALDA Note: Since Lyme disease can lead to arthritis, many won’t be surprised to learn that Lyme Borreliosis patients can often be found visiting RoadBack’s online forums and chat rooms.  For more information about Lyme disease, visit Georgia Lyme Disease Association or visit us on Facebook.