Degenerative Element Zero Poisoning, also known as Degenerative Eezo Recurring Poisoning (or DERP) is a medical condition caused by long term exposure to low amounts of Element Zero.
DERP is caused by Element Zero poisoning the blood in a small enough amount to not cause death. After long periods of time, typically years, the Eezo cells begin to multiply in the blood and attach themselves to blood cells and antigens, similar to a virus. Once activated, although possible to minimize the effects on the body, it is impossible to clear DERP completely clear from the blood stream, and the cells will multiply faster over time. DERP is common in engineers working around Mass Effect Cores, Hallex addicts and Red Sand addicts.
While the symptoms may be suppressed, DERP is inevitably fatal, with most sufferers living 5-6 years after diagnosis.
In most cases, no symptoms of DERP will appear until in full effect. These include, but are not limited to:
- Dry Skin
- Hair Loss
- Skin discolouration
- Biotic instabilities where applicable
- Loss of eye sight/hearing
Treatment methods include suppression of Eezo cells, usually orally through pills or with intravenous injections, however, it's not unknown for some victims to drink their suppression medication in a 'Suppression shake,' which is notorious for its undesirable taste. Other treatment includes dialysis, similar to threatment for those with kidney problems; however, the results of this method are poorly documented; as such, the treatment is still considered experimental.