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Does Lyme Disease Cause Memory Loss

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Kris Kristofferson’s memory loss caused by Lyme disease

Moreover, when you do things in an organized way, the brain can also work in an organized manner and that is directly related to the improving of your memory.

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Getting A Correct Diagnosis

Diagnosing Lyme is often a complicated process, most physicians are not adequately qualified to identify Lyme disease and the common tests used to confirm a Lyme diagnosis can report incorrect results 50% of the time . To make matters more complex, Lyme patients with neurological symptoms are often misdiagnosed with neurological diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Parkinsons disease, or even worse, their symptoms are dismissed altogether. The symptoms that they are experiencing are frustrating and maddening, especially when they are being told its all in your head. The struggle to find the right diagnosis is extremely draining for patients who are already facing depression, brain fog, memory loss, tremors, and other crippling symptoms.

At Envita our doctors and staff are highly trained in identifying Lyme disease our physicians utilize a proprietary PCR diagnosis protocol which allows them to not only accurately diagnose Lyme disease, but be able to monitor the Lyme infection and co-infection levels in the body throughout treatment. While this technology is still in research-and-development and is currently only available at Envita, it is proving to be a vitally important diagnostic tool for our Lyme patients. Correctly diagnosing the disease is always the first step in reaching a solution and at Envita we understand the importance of quickly and accurately diagnosing our patients.

Borrelia Releasing Neurotoxins in the Brain

Lyme Disease Memory Problems And Mental Health

Infectious illnesses, such as Lyme disease, are a major cause of psychiatric and cognitive problems that few medical professionals recognize. In a 2019 study involving nearly 1.1 million people, researchers found that infectious diseases in children and adolescents were linked to a significant increase in mental health problems and the use of psychotropic medications later in life. Lyme disease is associated with a variety of neurological and psychiatric symptoms and conditions, including:

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Alzheimers Disease And Dementia

Dementia is a brain disorder that can affect memory and other mental functions. Alzheimers disease is one of the most well-known types of dementia. Dementia damages and destroys brain cells. The resulting memory loss often starts mild and gradually becomes more severe.

Certain medications can help with symptoms for a time. If you suspect dementia or youre at risk, see a doctor for an evaluation, says Dr. Bonner-Jackson. Your doctor can help create a personalized plan to stave off worsening memory loss and other symptoms for as long as possible.

Treating Balance Issues In Lyme Disease

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The only way to treat Lyme disease is through the use of antibiotics. Often, those with neurological issues caused by Lyme disease have a difficult time overcoming symptoms, even with treatment. This is why vestibular rehabilitation may be necessary to address issues with balance and restore a person back to their full abilities.

Featured image by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

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What Is Alzheimer’s Disease

Starting subtle at first, the most notable symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. Alzheimer’s usually manifests in persons over the age of 65, so when it first begins to show, it can be associated with the normal factors of aging. It’s only when these symptoms become noticeable that it becomes a problem.

As Alzheimer’s starts to worsen, patients have more trouble with abstract thought processes, planning, concentration and semantic memory . There is also disorientation, such as getting lost in familiar areas like your own neighborhood, difficulty performing everyday tasks like hygiene or making phone calls, struggles with language, excessive sleep, lack of motivation and unpredictable mood swings.

But Alzheimer’s doesn’t stop there. Soon, not just short-term memory is impacted, but long-term memory, previously intact, starts to go as well. The ability to write and read fades. Urinary incontinence can also occur. Coordination is lost and falling becomes common as well as sundowning, a psychological condition associated with increased confusion, wandering and restlessness.

What Are The Main Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can cause a myriad of different symptoms. Initially, the condition can feel like the flu as it is accompanied by symptoms such as body and muscle aches, fatigue, fever, and headaches. A signature sign that someone has contracted Lyme disease is the rash that occurs at the site where the tick latched on. The rash is red and looks much like a bulls eye symbol.

Some other symptoms that can arise in an early case of Lyme disease include chills and swollen lymph nodes. These signs should not be ignored because, as mentioned above, getting prompt treatment will make all the difference in how the disease progresses throughout the body. For those who deem the symptoms too mild to get a proper diagnosis, the bacteria can cause permanent damage until treatment is sought.

Image by on Untreated Lyme disease can lead to confusion and other cognitive issues.

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Solving The Lyme Disease Mystery

She went down the path of exploring heavy metals as a cause of Russs early-onset Alzheimers symptoms. And despite that Russ had tested negative for Lyme, she didnt give up on that theory either. But eventually, a neurologist diagnosed Russ with early-onset Alzheimers. With no other obvious causes, Nicole said, she accepted the diagnosis.

However, something still didnt add up: Russ didnt have a genetic predisposition to early-onset, and without that genetic component to the disease, his decline should not have progressed so rapidly. Nicole felt there was more to the story.

I went to multiple neurologists and they kept really giving me no answers, she said. I had pretty much given up and I was starting to get all of our affairs in order and trying to figure out what to do. Then my brother called me. His wife had been having health issues for years, had been to doctor after doctor, and they had finally figured out the root cause of her illness, which was Lyme disease and three different co-infections. My brothers a doctor, so he started researching and he just said, I think this is the reason for Russ decline as well.’

Nicoles brother convinced her that Russ should get another test for Lyme this time at a specialty lab.

Instead of an antibody-based test, this was a PCR-based test looking for the actual bacteria itself, she said. It looks for surface markers on the bacteria just like what we do for COVID. With that methodology, he actually tested positive.

How To Improve Your Memory

Feeling Worse After Treatment? Maybe Its Not Lyme Disease

Dr. Bonner-Jackson says there are proven ways to boost brain health, which may help lower your risk for Alzheimers disease and dementia.

But keep in mind that memory loss does not automatically mean theres something wrong with your health or that you will develop Alzheimers. Resolving the problem may involve practicing meditation or other stress-busting techniques, getting more sleep or eating a balanced diet, explains Dr. Bonner-Jackson. The key is to pay attention to memory loss and talk to your doctor to figure out whats causing it.

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How Long Does Lyme Disease Last

Lyme disease symptoms can begin anywhere from three to 30 days after transmission of the infection from a tick. If treated early on with antibiotics, most people feel better within a few weeks, says Dr. Zemel.

According to the CDC, its not uncommon for people to experience lingering symptoms like fatigue and joint or muscle pain for a few weeks or months after treatment. Additional antibiotics wont help these symptoms, however, and most people improve on their own over time.

In a small percentage of cases, people continue to experience symptoms for more than six months after their recommended course of antibiotics is completed. This is sometimes referred to as chronic Lyme diseasebut that name is misleading, says Dr. Kuritzkes, because there is no evidence that the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is still present in the body. Instead, the CDC refers to this condition as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .

As with many other kinds of infectious diseases, some people are left with some debilitating symptoms that dont go away, says Dr. Kuritzkes. I like to compare it to polio: Some people who had polio are left paralyzed, but that doesnt mean they have chronic polio they have permanent damage from the infection, even after its gone away.

Its possible that Lyme infection leads to some damage that we dont fully understand yet, Dr. Kuritzkes adds. But we do know that long-term or repeated courses of antibiotics have no benefit in these cases.

How Nicole Bell First Knew Something Was Wrong

His first symptoms were all mood-based, Nicole said of her husband when his condition first began to surface. He became depressed. He became irritable. He became, frankly, kind of nasty, and we were arguing all the time, which wasnt characteristic of our relationship. Then in 2016, I realized that he was starting to have memory issues. He would forget the code to the house alarm. He would forget the time to pick up the kids. He would constantly lose his keys.

This is when she first knew something serious was unfolding. At this point, Nicole started searching Google for information about what might be causing this cognitive issues. One of the things that came up, she recalls, was Lyme disease.

Another was exposure to heavy metals. At this point, she said, she was exploring every option. We did a lot of shooting. One of our biggest hobbies was sporting clays and you get exposed to a lot of lead, she said. He did a lot of reloading of lead pellets. I was worried that maybe his exposure to lead was leading to cognitive decline.

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Lyme Disease Memory Loss Treatment

by The Lyme Specialist | Sep 10, 2018 | Articles

Lyme Disease, caused by the bite of a bacteria-infected tick with Borrelia burgdorferi, mayonii, afzelii or garinii , not only attacks the patients organs and joints, but causes significant changes in their neurological state, sometimes called Lyme brain.

This serious and debilitating illness affects an estimated 365,000 individuals each year and numbers are rising.

For those who suffer from the cognitive impairments of Lyme, such as short-term memory loss, difficulty with speech and word recollection, loss of motor skills, depression, anxiety, hallucinations and other symptoms that may closely resemble Alzheimers disease or schizophrenia, finding a way to fight back is an absolute must.

Fortunately, the cognitive impairments often associated with Lyme Disease are well documented, and there are doctors, specialists and treatment centers who focus primarily on this kind of therapy.

Strategies can include everything from brain-training activities, such as biofeedback, to more internal treatments such as administering antibiotics intravenously to help correct memory recall issues by reducing inflammation of the brain if the infection is caught early on.

Treatment may take the form of a pharmaceutical approach, tackling the blood-brain barrier that causes symptoms of Lyme brain, aiming to penetrate this barrier, reduce inflammation, and stabilizing neurological function.

Choosing the Right Approach

Reports From The Literature

Can Lyme Disease Cause Short Term Memory Loss

The literature search by using stringent diagnostic criteria disclosed only seven additional patients with dementia as a leading symptom of definitive LNB. These cases were reported in detail, so they can serve for the description of characteristic features. The data of all 10 patients are summarized in Table 1 and 2.

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How Do You Diagnose Lyme & Tick

Lyme and tick-borne disease are complex diseases that produce physical, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms that present differently in each patient. One person may experience severe joint pain, and another may have brain fog and anxiety. Yet, they both have a Tick-Borne illness.

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi . It is usually transmitted by the bite of an infected tick, but many also believe spiders and other biting insects can pass it on. Most people are shocked to learn that the bacteria can also be passed through the placenta of a pregnant woman to the fetus, which is referred to as congenital Lyme. Research from Schlesinger et al. denotes poor treatment outcomes for those with congenital Lyme.

Tick-borne disease symptoms may be acute, or they can wax and wane in a more long-term, chronic manner. Some symptoms appear immediately after a tick bite, but sometimes weeks, months or years pass before the disease presents making diagnosis and treatment even more complex. This waxing and waning of symptoms is confusing, leading to uncertainty regarding underlying cause. This makes one wonder if the tick bite or Lyme Disease one had months ago could be related to current symptoms.

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Long Covid Could Reveal Clues To Alzheimers Lyme Disease

Last week, the U.S. Congress failed to approve $15 billion needed to continue Covid-19 precautions, even though todays low case counts are likely to rise, as they are in Europe, with the sub-variant called BA.2. Weve learned that some expensive mitigation measures, such as deep cleaning, are a waste of money, and could be scrapped, but funding for studying Covid should increase not just for prevention measures and vaccines, but for research into the long-term consequences of infection.

Some people who got Covid-19 early in the pandemic still havent recovered, and what looked like long Covid might, for some people, be a permanent condition if no treatment is found. The lingering symptoms are often different from those associated with acute infection. Patients report changes in memory, trouble thinking clearly or concentrating, mood disorders, sleep disturbances, changes in balance and gastrointestinal problems. Some have a form of fatigue that can get much worse with physical or mental exertion.

The good news is that some of the countrys top medical researchers have jumped on this problem and are gaining momentum. What they learn is likely to apply to other medical problems. Take the work of Mark Albers, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who had been uncovering the weird relationship between loss of sense of smell and Alzheimers Disease. Now hes expanded his research to learn about similar changes in Covid-19 patients.

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Seeking Help For Lyme Disease

When neuropsychiatric symptoms dont respond to standard treatments, it is always a good idea to dig deeper. Brain SPECT imaging, testing for infectious diseases, and other assessments that are part of an integrative medicine approach can be helpful in identifying the root causes of symptoms. If Lyme disease is discovered, seek help from a Lyme-literate physician for optimal treatments to aid in recovery.

Lyme disease and other infectious diseases, along with the mental health symptoms associated with them, cant wait. At Amen Clinics, were here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, clinical evaluations, and therapy for adults, teens, children, and couples.Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834or visit our contact page here.

Initial Causes Does Lyme Disease Cause Short Term Memory Loss

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There are several different causes of memory loss. Some cause this condition in the young, while others may be more gradual. If you notice that your memory is weakening, its important to consult a medical professional. Whether the cause is mental illness, age, or a combination of factors, its important to seek treatment as soon as possible. People with extensive memory loss may have social difficulties and anxiety, which can lead to depression. They may be afraid they are letting their loved ones down, which can lead to anxiety and depression. Does Lyme Disease Cause Short Term Memory Loss

Fortunately, there are many causes of memory loss, and many of them are treatable. However, if you are experiencing serious memory problems, you may need medical treatment. If you have been undergoing any type of medication, you should consult with your doctor. Some people have other underlying conditions that may be causing their loss of memory. Alcohol abuse, sleep deprivation, or other mental health conditions can cause memory problems. You should seek out a medical professional if you suspect youre suffering from any of these conditions.

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Does Lyme Disease Affect The Brain And Nervous System

Lyme disease affects the nervous system. This statement is both accurate and terrifying since, for many of us, damage to the brain is the most feared consequence of disease. However, when it comes to Lyme disease, much of this fear is misplaced. Lyme disease can affect the lining of the brain, a disorder known as meningitis. Other than causing fever and bad headaches, this form of meningitis is remarkably benign nobody has ever died of it, and it has rarely if ever caused significant damage to any patients brain. On extremely rare occasions, the infection can involve the brain or spinal cord, disorders that are now extraordinarily rare. Other patients can develop inflammation of various nerves, e.g., the nerves that control the muscles on one side of the face this might occur in about 5% of untreated individuals. Other nerves can be affected, but even less frequently.

When considering these disorders, it is essential to recognize some key facts. First, the infection is highly responsive to antibiotics. Second, if the facial nerve has been severely damaged, there may be some residual weakness after treatment. However it is extraordinarily rare for there to be any permanent damage to the brain itself.

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