Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Long Term Effects Of Lyme Disease On The Brain

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How Is Lyme Disease Treated

Making Strides Against Chronic Lyme Disease

For early Lyme disease, a short course of oral antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin is curative in the majority of the cases. In more complicated cases, Lyme disease can usually be successfully treated with three to four weeks of antibiotic therapy.

In patients who have non-specific symptoms after being treated for Lyme disease and who have no evidence of active infection , studies have shown that more antibiotic therapy is not helpful and can be dangerous.

What Is Late Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.

People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.

Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:

  • A person will initially develop early localized lyme disease, in which the bacteria have not yet spread through the body. At this stage, which generally has its onset days or weeks after the tick bite, a personâs symptoms will usually include a fever, fatigue, and a rash, called the Erythema Migrans rash, which has a distinctive bullsâ eye shape and affects around two thirds of people who develop Lyme disease. See this resource for more information on symptoms and treatment of early localized Lyme disease.
  • If Lyme disease is not diagnosed in either of these early stages, and is not treated effectively with antibiotics, the bacteria that cause LD can spread throughout the body from the site of the tick bite, resulting in late disseminated Lyme disease, or late lyme disease. The onset of symptoms and complications of late disseminated Lyme disease is usually around 6-36 months after the original infection.
  • Sometimes It Can Produce Complications

    Meningitis usually improves when treated in a timely manner, but it can cause long-term effects and complications. Viral and bacterial infections are the most common causes of meningitis.

    Bacterial meningitis is more dangerous and more likely to cause persistent effects than other types of meningitis. However, all types of meningitis can become severe and life-threatening, potentially producing lasting consequences.

    Meningitis is an inflammatory condition of the meninges and the cerebrospinal fluid that usually causes head pain, fevers, and fatigue. Seizures, neurological deficits, and systemic effects can occur with severe meningitis.

    The condition can result from infections, inflammatory disease, or as a side effect of certain medical treatments .

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    Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    If you catch the tick before it burrows into your skin, its possible to prevent Lyme disease from taking hold. If the tick has broken through your skin, a red bulls-eye pattern will form around the bite. By the time you notice this pattern, you will likely need to undergo a round of antibiotics to combat the primary infection and attempt to prevent a series of secondary infections. Early detection and intervention are critically important in preventing a series of long-term Lyme Disease symptoms. Below is a list of conditions associated with Lyme disease as well as the stages at which they occur:

    Can Lyme Cause Permanent Damage

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    Without treatment, Lyme can cause permanent damage. But most people with late-stage Lyme disease can recover if they get treatment with antibiotics. The longer you wait before treating Lyme disease, the longer it can take for symptoms to go away.

    A small subset of people may have symptoms that persist after treatment. Some long-term complications people experience include:

    • Synovitis: This is inflammation of the linings of the joints. Up to 10% of people with late-stage Lyme have visible joint inflammation, even after antibiotic treatment. Immunosuppressive medications or surgery can sometimes help to reduce pain.

    • Post-treatment Lyme disease: This is also called chronic Lyme disease or post-lyme syndrome. It happens in around 10% to 20% of people who have had Lyme disease. Its similar to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Symptoms include fatigue, widespread musculoskeletal pain, and problems with thinking and concentration.

    • Encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, or encephalopathy: These types of brain and spinal cord inflammation can cause long-standing problems with movement and thinking. These symptoms rarely persist after treatment.

    • Neuritis or neuropathy: This is inflammation of nerves outside of the brain, throughout the body. It can cause long-lasting problems with feeling and muscle strength even after treatment. These symptoms rarely persist after treatment.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Although symptoms may vary from mild tosevere, the most common and well-known symptoms of early onset Lyme disease areflu-like in nature. They include fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, andchills. Some who have contracted Lyme will also present with a rash in theshape of a bulls eye at the site of the bite.

    When Lyme disease progresses past theearly stages, symptoms can become more severe and the likelihood of developingchronic Lyme disease is heightened. The later-stage symptoms include furtherrash development Bells palsy heart palpitations and other heart issues andneurological deficits including memory loss, confusion, and inflammation ofboth the brain and spinal cord.

    Key Points For Healthcare Providers

  • In patients with facial palsy who are unable to close one or both eyes, eye drops or an eye patch may be needed to prevent dry eyes.
  • Neurologic symptoms do not necessarily indicate central nervous system infection in a patient with Lyme disease.
  • Two-step serologic testing for Lyme disease is the recommended diagnostic test for neurologic Lyme disease.
  • Cerebral spinal fluid analysis is not necessary to diagnose Lyme meningitis, but can help exclude other causes of illness, such as bacterial meningitis.
  • Consider Lyme radiculoneuritis in patients who report severe limb or truncal radicular pain without preceding trauma who live in or who have traveled to Lyme-endemic areas.
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    Neurological And Psychiatric Issues Associated With Lyme Disease And Tbrf

    Home » Tick Talk » Neurological and Psychiatric Issues Associated with Lyme Disease and TBRF

    Chronic illness often has significant impacts on mental health, and Lyme disease is no different. With the accuracy and sensitivity of todays recommended Lyme testing still so lacking, many Lyme patients have to wait too long to get accurate diagnoses and treatment. To compound this problem, many patients with Lyme-like symptoms are not even tested for the similar, but biologically distinct, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever . That gives infections time to spread throughout the body and cause neurological and psychiatric symptoms.

    This article will outline the direct and indirect effects that Borreliosis both Lyme disease and TBRF can have on mental health, including how and why untreated Lyme can develop into neurological Lyme disease.

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    He said people with persisting sickness from Lyme and people with long-haul COVID-19, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia share a trio of symptoms: fatigue, cognitive issues and pain, including musculoskeletal pain.

    They also report insomnia, anxiety and depression, Aucott said.

    Their symptoms are remarkably similar, Aucott said in a seven-minute video comparing long-haul COVID with what he is calling long-haul Lyme.

    The autonomic nervous system seems to be involved in a lot of cases as well as a possible inflammatory response, he said.

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    Reducing The Risk Of Complications

    If you develop symptoms of meningitis, its vital to get early medical attention. Timely diagnosis and treatment with antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, or any needed treatments will prevent the infection from progressing. Similarly, noninfectious meningitis can be treated more effectively at an early stage.

    Steps to prevent complications include:

    • Seizure prevention and treatment during the acute stage of meningitis can help reduce the chances of a post-meningitis seizure disorder.
    • Management of inflammation and monitoring changes in intracranial pressure during the early stage can prevent long-term problems with hydrocephalus.
    • Systemic effects, such as blood clots and sepsis, must be treated effectively to reduce the risk of permanent neurological issues or death from meningitis.

    How Does Lyme Disease Affect The Brain

    Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that youcan catch if youve been bitten by an infected deer tick. The first symptoms ofLyme disease, which include a target-shaped rash, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes,muscle aches, and headache, can appear within a few days or weeks. Your doctorcan promptly recognize and diagnose Lyme disease and treat it with antibiotics.But when treatment is delayed, the infection can spread to other areas,including the nerves, liver, and eyes. The infection can also spread to thecentral nervous system – the brain and spinal cord – and cause the problemslisted below.

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    Tulane Researchers Study Lyme Disease With Long

    A scientist holds samples for Lyme research at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, La. November 2019.


    A tiny tick can do a lot of damage. Lyme disease has now migrated to the South and the West.


    The uptick in the tick population across the United States is of greater concern than ever.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, deer ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease, infected as many as half a million Americans last year with a type of bacterium that is hard to diagnose and even harder to treat.

    Now, Tulane University researchers have found that a tick bite can lead to such persistent infections that traditional antibiotics may not ever completely eradicate the disease.

    And when the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes from the Lyme-infected deer tick enter the human bloodstream, the disease can spread to other parts of the body, and even may cause a severe form of dementia.

    Ticks have migrated from their usual stomping grounds of the Northeast and Midwest and are now invading the South and northern California, among other states, in smaller but very real numbers. The ticks feed on white-footed mice and birds, which have become efficient carriers. And with climate change, longer summers mean more time for the tick feeding season.

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    Has Niaid Looked At The Potential Benefits Of Long


    Yes. NIAID has funded three placebo-controlled clinical trials on the efficacy of prolonged antibiotic therapy for treating PTLDS. The published results were subjected to rigorous statistical, editorial, and scientific peer review.

    These trials were designed to ensure that several key parameters were addressed:

    • The susceptibility of B.burgdorferi to the antibiotics used
    • The ability of the antibiotics to both cross the blood-brain barrier and access the central nervous system and to persist at effective levels throughout the course of therapy
    • The ability of the antibiotics to kill bacteria living both outside and inside mammalian cells
    • The safety and welfare of patients enrolled in the trials

    The first clinical trial, which included two multicenter studies, provided no evidence that extended antibiotic treatment is beneficial. In those studies, physicians examined long-term antibiotic therapy in patients with a well-documented history of previous Lyme disease but who reported persistent pain, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness. Those symptoms are common among people reporting PTLDS. Patients were treated with 30 days of an intravenous antibiotic followed by 60 days of an oral antibiotic.

    In 2016, a clinical trial conducted in the Netherlands also concluded that in patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease, longer term treatment with antibiotics did not provide additional benefits compared with shorter term regimens.

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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, Parkinson’s 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 it’s 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.

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    If you have more questions or concerns about Lyme Disease or the available treatment methods, reach out to the specialists at the Hope Brain and Body Recovery Center for more information. Call our offices to speak with a representative from our team or schedule a consultation online today!

    Book a 15min. Free Phone Consultation

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    What Research Is Being Done

    The NINDS supports research on Lyme disease. Current areas of interest include improving diagnostic tests and developing more effective treatments. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , and the National Center for Research Resources , all parts of the National Institutes of Health , also support research on Lyme disease.

    The NINDS supports research on Lyme disease. Current areas of interest include improving diagnostic tests and developing more effective treatments. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , and the National Center for Research Resources , all parts of the National Institutes of Health , also support research on Lyme disease.

    The NINDS supports research on Lyme disease. Current areas of interest include improving diagnostic tests and developing more effective treatments. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , and the National Center for Research Resources , all parts of the National Institutes of Health , also support research on Lyme disease.

    Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics under the supervision of a physician.

    Lyme Is Not The Only Threat

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    As mentioned earlier in this article, there is another group of borrelia that causes a disease that is similar to, but biologically distinct from, Lyme. This disease, called Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever or TBRF, is often characterized by fevers that wax and wane every few days. However, many patients never experience relapsing fevers or any fevers at all. Like those of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, TBRF symptoms can often go undetected or be mistaken for other conditions, which can give the disease time to develop into neurological symptoms.

    So, as with Lyme, it is crucial to get an early and accurate diagnosis of TBRF. Be aware that TBRF will not show up on a Lyme test the test must be designed to test for TBRF borrelia in order to show accurate results. If symptoms are Lyme-like but test results are negative, doctors should consider the possibility of TBRF.

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    Long Term Effects Of Lyme Disease In Humans

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    Infectious Diseases And Mental Health

    Lyme disease and TBRF are not the only infectious disease to have ties to mental illness. One of the earliest and most well-known examples of an infectious disease that causes neurological and psychiatric symptoms is syphilis.

    This sexually transmitted disease, which like Lyme is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria and treated at early stages with antibiotics, has been called the great imitator also like Lyme because its symptoms can be wide-ranging and non-specific, especially at late stages. That includes neurological and psychiatric symptoms that become much more likely the longer the disease goes untreated.

    Given that ties between late-stage syphilis and mental illness have long been recognized by the medical community, it shouldnt be surprising that untreated Lyme disease poses similar risks to patients psychological wellbeing. Recent studies have investigated possible connections between Lyme disease and a host of mental health issues, including:

    • Developmental disorders
    • Seizures
    • Suicide

    Yet there are still many doctors and scientists who doubt the existence of chronic Lyme disease, and/or do not realize how many different borrelia cause TBRF, hurting patients chances of fighting both the diseases themselves and their mental health consequences.

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    Treating Neurological Lyme Disease

    Though neurological and psychiatric symptoms can be reduced with antibiotic treatment, emotional and cognitive problems arising from late-stage or chronic Lyme often call for a broader range of interventions. This includes lifestyle changes in such areas as diet, exercise, and environment.

    Again, its worth reiterating that the longer an infection goes undetected, the harder it is to treat, and the more likely it is that symptoms will require multi-pronged, multi-system interventions besides antibiotics alone.

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