Acute Vs Chronic Lymedisease
There are some importantdifferences between acute and chronic Lyme disease. When infection occurs andthe bacteria enter the body, the immune system recognizes the microbes asharmful and begins fighting them. If the immune system is strong and robust,the initial symptoms may be very mild, and sometimes there wont be anysymptoms at all. This is why people often dont even realize theyve beeninfected.
In its early stages, Lymedisease is usually treated successfully with antibiotics. But if the infectionremains undiagnosed, the bacteria can go on living inside the cells withoutcausing any trouble for a long time. As they travel to other tissues andorgans, including the brain, they eventually disperse throughout the body. Theonly time symptoms might present is when the immune system weakens due toillness, extreme stress, or some other reason. This is when the bacteria startto flourish, causing a chronic infection.
Chronic Lyme disease occurswhen the entire microbiome is disrupted. After this has happened, the immune system continues todysfunction, which can lead to many different types of symptoms. This chronicphase can even last a lifetime.
Why Antibiotics Have Limited Use For Chronic Lyme
Borrelia clears the blood quickly and uses its corkscrew shape to penetrate deeply into tissues where it is protected from antibiotics and the immune system. It can penetrate into cells, give up the corkscrew shape, and live inside of cells, thus gaining protection from the immune system and antibiotics. If confronted with a full antibiotic assault, it rolls up into dormant cyst and rides out the storm until the antibiotics are gone.
Antibiotics work best on highly threatening microbes that grow very rapidly and congregate densely in localized areas in the body . Borrelia grows very slowly in the body and only occurs in very low concentrations in tissues.
Borrelia is a master at blending in with the trillions of other microbes that make up the human microbiome . Overwhelming the host is not its mission it simply needs to scavenge enough resources to survive. Borrelias stealthy ability to lay low makes diagnosis and treatment a real challenge.
Borrelia never occurs alone. There are many stealthy microbes Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Bartonella, Epstein-Barr virus , cytomegalovirus , and others that can occupy space in the microbiome. Sometimes they occur as coinfections with the tick bite, but they can already be present in the microbiome, without causing symptoms, when infection with Borrelia occurs.
How To Diagnose And Treat Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is diagnosed by combining the clinical examination with serologic testing. The early localized stage of Lyme disease is typically diagnosed with clinical signs and symptoms.
Many physicians use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria of a Lyme reflex test, measuring the antibody titers to Lyme, and, if positive, performing a western blot to Lyme. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a 2-step quantitative assay to detect antibodies against B burgdorferi. The first step involves the use of an enzyme immunoassay or an indirect immunofluorescence assay. If the result is negative, no further testing is required, but if the test is positive or equivocal, step 2 is performed. Step 2 uses an immunoblotting technique such as a western blot. The test is deemed positive when both steps are positive. Doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil is the first-line treatment, and results in complete resolution of a patientâs symptoms. Cases resistant to these antibiotics are treated with macrolides.
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Symptoms Of Lyme Disease Brain
The neurological symptoms start showing up in early-stage Lyme disease. However, most people associate the symptoms with being overworked, stressed, or aging. Symptoms like forgetting why they went into a room, difficulty concentrating and staying focused on tasks, feeling anxious or depressed, or having brain fog.
When left untreated, these symptoms move into an early disseminated stage, worsening. New neurological symptoms become more significant and noticeable and will continue into late-stage Lyme disease. Below are examples of the neurological symptoms of Lyme disease you should know.
Lyme Disease Effects On The Brain
The first section of Lyme Brain discusses the fundamentals. What actually causes this condition? Research has shown that Lyme spirochetes can invade the brain and wreak all kinds of havoc. They damage nerve cells, trigger inflammation, release neurotoxins, and disrupt the balance of brain chemicals.
Ducharme lays all this out in plain language. She also explains how co-infections contribute to Lyme disease brain:
One of the reasons I believe that the actual brain fog, memory issues and difficulty with focus and concentration is Borrelia driven is because when I treat my patients with medications that primarily impact Borrelia and cross the blood-brain barrier, I see these symptoms improve, whereas the insomnia and wacky dreams tend to respond more to Babesia treatment. Really extreme psychiatric symptoms such as rages, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, respond mostly to Bartonella treatment.
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Chronic Lyme And Mental Health
The CDC lists having a chronic disease as a risk factor for developing mental illness. This underscores the reality that even for patients who do not develop neurological Lyme disease, the experience of Lyme disease alone can cause or exacerbate mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and others listed above.
Getting diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease can be stressful and exhausting, especially the longer this process takes which, for many, can be several years. Patients often must deal with conflicting or inaccurate diagnoses, lack of support from health care professionals, and exorbitant medical bills, all while battling physically and mentally debilitating symptoms with no end in sight. This experience can lead to a drastic reduction in quality of life that creates the perfect conditions for mental illness.
Why And How Lyme Disease And Tbrf Affect Mental Health
Lyme disease and TBRF can wreak havoc on a patients mental health in the following ways:
- Direct effects As with syphilis, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and TBRF can invade the central nervous system and cause neurological and psychiatric symptoms that are organic in origin. This is what doctors call neurological Lyme disease or Lyme neuroborreliosis.
- Indirect effects The discomforts and challenges of living with and/or being treated for Lyme disease or TBRF can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions that are not necessarily caused by the bacteria, but are indirectly caused or exacerbated .
Of course, these effects are not either/or, but rather can coexist and compound one another. Learn more about each below.
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Lyme Sci: When Brain Inflammation Persists After Lyme Disease Treatment
In a new study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have found evidence of chemical changes and widespread inflammation in the brains of patients with chronic symptoms following treatment for Lyme disease.
This Johns Hopkins study, in Journal of Neuroinflammation, supports the experience of hundreds of thousands of patients who have tried for years to have their chronic symptoms of pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and cognitive impairment validated.
What this study does is provide evidence that the brain fog in patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome has a physiological basis and isnt just psychosomatic or related to depression or anxiety, says John Aucott, M.D., a senior author of the new paper and director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center.
The fact is, too many patients with Lyme disease are left with chronic, debilitating symptoms following treatment for Lyme disease. In the nearly 40 years since the discovery of Lyme, no one has been able to determine why some patients get better with treatment and others remain ill.
How Is It Treated
Facial palsy is treated with oral antibiotics and Lyme meningitis/radiculoneuritis can either be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, depending on severity . Most people with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotics and fully recover. Varying degrees of permanent nervous system damage may develop in people who do not receive treatment in the early stages of illness and who develop late-stage Lyme disease.
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Lyme Disease And Cognitive Impairment
For decades, those who have had Lyme disease frequently complain of cognitive impairment, even after treatment with antibiotics is concluded. How frequently? A study led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported that 92 percent of Lyme disease patients in the study reported experiencing cognitive issues.
All 124 patients had experienced either physical or mental post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Evidence from 26 percent of the patients showed significant cognitive decline in the areas of memory and cognitive processing speed.
The gap between the number of people reporting brain fog and the number of issues subjectively proven in tests led some researchers to think perhaps the issue was psychosomatic and related to depression or anxiety. Certainly, depression is an issue with Lyme disease, with as high as 45 percent of patients reporting feelings of depression in some studies, according to the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University.
But new research shows that something else may be involved: brain inflammation.
The Case Study Pathology Is Characteristic Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
The fresh brain weighed 996 g and appeared atrophic Coronal sections through the left cerebral hemisphere and brain stem revealed mild enlargement of the lateral ventricle, particularly the temporal horn. The substantia nigra was normally pigmented or nearly so. Microscopically, nigral and cortical Lewy bodies, were seen with hematoxylin and eosin stain . Immunohistochemistry for -synuclein showed numerous immunoreactive Lewy bodies and fibers in substantia nigra, hippocampal formation and neocortex, Figures 4CE). IHC for hyperphosphorylated tau revealed intense staining of many limbic neurofibrillary tangles and neuropil threads , and of occasional neurofibrillary tangles in neocortex, but senile plaques were extremely rare, and each contained only a few fibrils . H& E showed prominent thickening of small blood vessels in gray and white matter, extensive mineralization of pallidal vessels, and rare microglial nodules in the hippocampal formation. Immunohistochemistry for Iba-1 , CD68 , and CD163 showed moderate numbers of activated microglia and large numbers of macrophages in hippocampal formation and spinal cord . In summary, we see DLB accompanied by features of Alzheimer’s disease, a common presentation.
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All About Lyme Disease Brain Fog And Other Symptoms
- All About Lyme Disease, Brain Fog, and Other Symptoms
Sunday, April 10, 2022
Lyme disease is one of those conditions we hear about but never think we’ll get. Yet, almost half a million people are diagnosed with this tick-borne disease every year.
Anyone can get it if they’re bitten by an infected black-legged tick. The bacteria get into the body and are one of the very few that can break the blood-brain barrier.
So, the tick-bite victim ends up with neuropsychiatric symptoms that have to be treated. But fighting Lyme disease is a combination of multiple treatments. Patients will need medicine as well as brain function therapy to limit cognitive impairment and brain fog.
The Treatment: Lyme Disease Syndrome
Treating Lyme disease in patients depends on the symptoms and severity of the condition. If it’s not treated at all, the infections in the bloodstream can turn into co-infections in the heart, joints, brain, and central nervous system.
Doctors usually diagnose Lyme disease based on the physical signs, symptoms the patients present with, history of environmental exposure and specialized testing.
Treating this condition is not as cut-and-dry as it is with other diseases. Antibiotics are often the go-to option for treatment, but alone, they are usually not enough. In fact, overusing antibiotics can cause permanent, irreversible damage, and many patients find that they only get sicker as a result.
There are several health issues the patient may need to address before any type of Lyme treatment is successful, such as hormone imbalances, intestinal dysfunction, and thyroid dysfunction. The body also needs to get rid of heavy metal toxins and mold toxins.
Previous treatments focused on one symptom at a time. This ineffective strategy no sooner fixed one problem before another took its place. Now, however, a beneficial treatment called stem cell therapy is the preferred method of treatment for many patients.
Stemaid therapy uses natural treatments to eliminate internal problems, such as toxins, in conjunction with repairing damaged cells.
Possible Brain Inflammation Can Occur
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Neurological Complications Of 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 caused by a bacterial organism that is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected tick. Most people with Lyme disease develop a characteristic skin rash around the area of the bite. The rash may feel hot to the touch, and vary in size, shape, and color, but it will often have a “bull’s eye” appearance . However, there are those who will not develop the rash, which can make Lyme disease hard to diagnose because its symptoms and signs mimic those of many other diseases.
Anywhere from 7 to 14 days following an infected tick’s bite, the first stage of Lyme disease may begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain.
Reasons To Choose Herbs
Plants have to deal with a wide range of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, just like any other living creature. Not having an immune system, plants deal with the problem by producing a sophisticated spectrum of biochemical substances called phytochemicals. Instead of one chemical, like an antibiotic, a medicinal herb contains hundreds of phytochemicals that suppress microbes in different ways therefore resistance is almost unheard of, even with very long-term use. Some herbs provide more potent antimicrobial properties than others. While herbs would never be a good choice for treating a life-threatening illness like pneumonia, they are perfect for suppressing stealth microbes associated with chronic illness.
Different herbs offer a slightly different range of benefits, therefore multiple herbs can be used together to cover for all possible stealth microbes involved. In fact, this is the preferred way of doing herbal therapy . This provides for a wide spectrum of activity against a wide range of microbial threats. You can think of it as an orchestra of healing the sum of multiple herbs is more powerful than each herb individually.
Over the millennia, humans naturally selected certain plant substances for use as medicines. These plants, now known as medicinal herbs, have chemistry that meshes well with human biochemistry. Not surprisingly, medicinal herbs are well tolerated by most people and can be safely used for extended periods of time.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be easier to treat if diagnosed early. Within a month of being bitten, a rash appears which can last for a few weeks. The rash can first appear like a circular bruise which may then get bigger.
Some people also experience flu like-symptoms including:
- High temperature
If treatment is delayed, symptoms can get worse, and these can include:
- Joint pain and swelling
In some cases, symptoms can last for years.
Lyme Disease And The Brain: Everything You Need To Know
Lyme disease was firstreported in 1975 in the town of Lyme in Connecticut. Its a tick-borne illnesscaused by infection with the bacterium Borreliaburgdorferi. It has a wide range of possible symptoms affecting multipleorgan systems. A characteristic circularrash often develops around the site of the tick bite within days or weeks.However, in 2030% of cases there is no rash, so the disease must be identifiedby other symptoms.
Initially, Lyme patientsusually experience flu-like symptoms. In its early stages, the infection isusually successfully cured with antibiotics. If left untreated, more serioussymptoms may develop months or years later, such as arthritis, heart problems,meningitis and neurological disorders. Symptoms affecting the nervous systeminclude memory loss, difficulty concentrating, facial paralysis, and pain andnumbness in the limbs. Severe headaches and visual disturbances are also commonas the illness progresses.
Since the symptoms overlapwith those of various other diseases, Lyme is sometimes misdiagnosed as chronicfatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Alzheimersdisease, Parkinsons disease, and other psychiatric conditions.
There are currently noabsolutely reliable diagnostic tests available for Lyme disease. Although labtests are available, the results are often inaccurate. During the first weeksafter infection, theres a 60% rate of false negative results.
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What Happens To The Brain During Acute Lyme Neuroborreliosis
A group of researchers from Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana injected live Borrelia spirochete into rhesus monkeys and discovered that inflammation plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of acute Lyme neuroborreliosis. Their findings were published recently in The American Journal of Pathology.
Borrelia spirochete are injected into monkeys brains.
Individuals diagnosed with Lyme neuroborreliosis typically suffer from headaches, fatigue, memory loss, learning disabilities, and depression. Clinical findings have included meningitis, cranial neuritis, radiculoneuritis, encephalopathy, encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, radiculitis, radiculoneuritis, mononeuropathies, plexopathies, and demyelinating neuropathies.
Dr. Mario T. Philipp and colleagues at the Tulane National Primate Research Center launched an investigation to examine the role of inflammation on the central nervous system of subjects infected with Borrelia burgdorferi . Rhesus monkeys were injected with live Bb spirochete. Several monkeys received a potent steroid prior to being injected with the spirochete, while another group was pretreated with a non-steroidal medicine.