Study Finds Evidence Of Persistent Lyme Infection In Brain Despite Aggressive Antibiotic Therapy
Tulane University researchers found the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in the brain tissue of a woman who had long suffered neurocognitive impairment after her diagnosis and treatment for the tick-borne disease. The presence of the corkscrew-shaped Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in the former Lyme disease patients brain and spinal cord were evidence of a persistent infection.
The findings were published in Frontiers in Neurology.
The 69-year-old woman, who experienced progressively debilitating neurological symptoms throughout her illness, decided to donate her brain to Columbia University for the study of the disease as her condition worsened. While she had first experienced the classic symptoms of Lyme disease 15 years prior and was treated accordingly after her diagnosis, she experienced continual neurological decline including a severe movement disorder and personality changes, and eventually succumbed to Lewy body dementia. Lewy body dementia is associated with abnormal protein deposits in the nerve cells of the brain which can cause impairment in thinking, movement and mood, leading to a severe form of dementia.
These findings underscore how persistent these spirochetes can be in spite of multiple rounds of antibiotics targeting them,
This is the first time researchers have identified a possible correlation between Lyme disease infection and Lewy body dementia.
Detecting Borrelia Spirochetes: A Case Study With Validation Among Autopsy Specimens
- 1Division of Immunology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University Health Sciences, Covington, LA, United States
- 2Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States
- 3Division of Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, United States
- 4Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, Macedonia
- 5Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States
Four Strategies For Restoring Memory Loss Due To Lyme Disease
For people with Lyme disease that have memory recall issues, word finding problems, and trouble remembering facesby Greg Lee
Have you ever seen icicles hanging down from the roof? Ice in the gutter blocks water from draining out the downspout. As more water spills over the gutter, it freezes in icicles off the roof. These grow bigger and bigger as sunlight on the roof melts more ice into water which refreezes on the icicles.
How are frozen icicles similar to a Lyme disease infection that prevents memory recall?
Intravenous antibiotics have been shown to produce improvements in memory recall issuesPatients given IV ceftriaxone had a greater improvement in their memory issues at the end of three months but unfortunately lost their gains during an antibiotic-free interval of an additional three months out. In another study of eighteen patients given IV ceftriaxone for Lyme encephalopathy, seven reported a complete recovery of their memory issues and eight reported great improvement. Unfortunately, many patients with Lyme disease do not have access to medical practitioners that are willing to prescribe IV antibiotics.
What else besides antibiotics can help with treating Lyme induced memory impairment?
Sno HN. . Tijdschr Psychiatr. 2012 54:235-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22422416
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Treatment For Neurological Lyme Disease
After defining the problem, she moves on to solutions. The next section deals with pharmaceutical approaches to Lyme disease in the brain, including an explanation of the blood-brain barrier and what drugs can effectively penetrate it. She discusses medications that reduce inflammation, as well as those to stabilize neurological function, balance mood and help people think more clearly.
Section 3 discusses natural approaches to Lyme disease in the brain: antimicrobials, such as Cats Claw and teasel root anti-inflammatories, such as curcumin and stephania root antioxidants, such as glutathione neurotransmitter support and essential oils such as peppermint and frankincense.
Section 4 deals with nutrition. Readers of her earlier book, The Lyme Diet, will find familiar themes: avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and additives such as MSG.
Ducharme explains about therapies to help the brain, including neurofeedback, Brainwave Entrainment, and hyperbaric oxygen. She covers sleep and exercise. She reviews different kinds of psychotherapy for patients with Lyme brain.
How To Improve Your Memory
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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Evaluation According To Protocol
Patients were required to have pretreatment serological testing, lumbar puncture, neuro-psychological testing, and brain MRI. The antibody response to B. burgdorferi in serum was determined by indirect ELISA and Western blotting , and positive results were interpreted according to the CDC/ASTPHLD criteria . Spinal fluid was tested for total cells and protein, and concomitant serum and CSF samples were tested for intrathecal IgM, IgG, and IgA antibody production to B. burgdorferi by antibody capture enzyme assay, as previously described . A response in CSF that was> 1 times that in serum was defined as local synthesis of specific antibody in CSF. B. burgdorferi DNA was detected in CSF by PCR by use of 2 different primer-probe sets that target different regions of the plasmid DNA encoding outer-surface protein A of the spirochete, as previously described .
Routine brain MRI, without gadolinium enhancement, was performed in all patients. After August 1992, it became possible to perform quantitative single photon emission computed tomography of the brain, newly reported in one study to be of use in evaluation of Lyme encephalopathy . SPECT was not available when the study began, and only the last 7 patients entered into the study underwent SPECT imaging.
Can Lyme Disease Cause Dementia
There have been reports of Borrelia burgdorferi , the bacterial agent of Lyme disease, triggering primary dementia, such as Alzheimers disease. Researchers who examined the records of 1,594 patients with dementia found that 1.25% had a positive intrathecal anti-Borrelia antibody index , specific for neuroborreliosis. They concluded, Pure Lyme dementia exists and has a good outcome after antibiotics. 1
In a retrospective study, entitled Secondary dementia due to Lyme neuroborreliosis, Kristoferitsch and colleagues describe several case reports of patients diagnosed with dementia-like syndromes due to Lyme neuroborreliosis or Lyme disease that help address the question can lyme disease cause dementia.2
Rapid improvement with antibiotic treatment
The authors case report featuring a 76-year-old woman demonstrates how Lyme disease can cause dementia-like symptoms. The patient developed progressive cognitive decline, loss of weight, nausea, gait disturbance and tremor over a 12-month period. She was referred to a neurology clinic for evaluation.
Three months earlier, the woman had been diagnosed with tension headaches and a depressive disorder. Medications, however, did not improve her symptoms.
LNB was diagnosed when further CSF examinations disclosed a highly elevated Bb-specific-AI indicating local intrathecal Bb-specific antibody synthesis, Kristoferitsch writes.
Woman admitted to psychiatric ward with severe dementia
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> > > Root Cause For Alzheimer And Dementia Found
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.
The above-discussed 15 techniques to improve memory are undoubtedly the best ways in which you can enhance your memory. All you need is to identify the ways that best suit you, incorporate them in your life and you will boost your brains capacity to remember. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9974578
Reports From The Literature
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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The Cdc Reveals The Truth About Lyme Disease
Content updated from previous publish date.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick. Lyme disease is primarily known for causing a rash and flu-like symptoms, but according to the CDC, it can persist in some people and lead to what is called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome .
Lyme disease is associated with numerous co-infections that can mimic or contribute to virtually any medical, neurological, or psychiatric condition, which is why Lyme has been called the great imitator. Lyme has been vastly underdiagnosed in the U.S., in part to inadequate testing methods, but also because of a general lack of acknowledgment within the medical community that chronic Lyme or PTLDS are real.
In the medical community, Lyme remains misunderstood at best and dismissed at worse. How can doctors treat an illness if they dont believe it exists? They cant, which is why far too many people have been suffering from Lyme brain for far too long.
At Amen Clinics, hundreds of patients struggling with resistant complex symptoms have tested positive for Lyme disease and gotten significantly better when it was treated.
For Depression And Anxiety
Both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy have proven benefits for improving mood. Psychotherapy has many different types such as supportive, dynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior therapy, transference focused psychotherapy each of which offers benefit. Pharmacotherapy also has many different types. For depression the first-line options usually are SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclics or other agents with more unique modes of action.
A few noteworthy tips on anti-depressant agents:
- Most anti-depressant agents also help in reducing anxiety. However the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Specific anti-anxiety agents such as clonazepam or diazepam may not necessarily help fight depression.
- Most anti-depressants take three to eight weeks before an effect is seen. Therefore, it is unwise to stop an anti-depressant after only three or four weeks, as staying on it another two to three weeks may lead to a good response.
- Dosage makes a difference. Some anti-depressants work fine at low doses some medications however are effective only at higher doses. Some medications are more effective as the dose is increased. Other antidepressants may have a therapeutic range one has to achieve at least a certain dosage .
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Lyme Disease Memory Loss Treatment
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
Controlled Study Of Cognitive Deficits
Although neurologic Lyme disease is known to cause cognitive dysfunction in adults, little is known about its long-term sequelae in children.
A Controlled Study of Cognitive Decits in Children With Chronic Lyme Disease* Felice A. Tager, Ph.D., Brian A. Fallon, M.D., John Keilp, Ph.D., Marian Rissenberg, Ph.D., Charles Ray Jones, M.D., Michael R. Liebowitz, M.D
Received August 7, 2000 revised January 3, 2001 accepted January 10, 2001. From the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Medicine, New York, New York. Address cor- respondence to Dr. Tager, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, Box 427, New York, NY 10032. E-mail:
Copyright 2001 American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 13:4, Fall 2001
* LDA has received permission to post this article in its entirety
to view the entire pdf of this article
Lyme disease is a multisystemic illness caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi . LYD, the most common tick-borne illness in the United States, may manifest in a variety of ways: dermatologic, arthritic, ophthalmologic, cardiac, and neuropsychiat- ric. The incidence and spread of the disease increased during the 1980s, stabilizing somewhat in the late 1990s. Children below the age of 9 are at a high risk for Bb infection, with many new cases of Lyme occurring among persons younger than 14 years.
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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.
The Impact Of Neurological Lyme On Memory
On average, your brain has 86 billion neurons, each sending out numerous signals from head to toe at breakneck speed to process and store information, control movement and balance, and utilize your five senses, among other crucial tasks. Neurological Lyme can directly impact those functions, including memory, and heres how.
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The Case Of A Retired Defence Intelligence Agency
The Washington Post also reported a case from an officer who has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
After surviving Leukaemia, the 81-year man was told that he had dementia. Sandra Boodman, the reporter, wrote that doctors were convinced that the retired agent was battling a fatal type of dementia that was rapidly progressive.
This led him to become delusional, moody, childish, and confused, something that he was not when he was a competent man.
This was a wrong diagnosis.
Later on, doctors discovered that he had Lyme meningoencephalitis when he started having challenges with walking, had tremors in his arms, and was also suffering from incontinence.
After a positive diagnosis for Lyme disease, he immediately started antibiotics for treatment and went on to make a full recovery.
What Is Alzheimers Disease
Starting subtle at first, the most notable symptom of Alzheimers is memory loss. Alzheimers 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. Its only when these symptoms become noticeable that it becomes a problem.
As Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers doesnt 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.
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Why And What To Do When Antibiotics Fail
Then there is Memantine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, that regulates glutamate activity, a chemical transmitter associated with learning and memory. Cells damaged by AD and other neurological disorders release large amounts of glutamate, allowing excess calcium to enter cell membranes. Given enough time, this chronic overexposure to calcium will accelerate cell damage. Memantine works against this chain reaction by blocking some NMDA receptors.
On average, the five approved Alzheimer’s drugs are effective for about six to 12 months for about half of the individuals who take them. To say the least, this is not very effective.
The important question is what is impacting the neurons and neurotransmitters in the brain. As you will see, infections release neurotoxins that impair neurotransmitter’s abilities to bind to receptor sites. Other epigenetic risk factors such as other infections such as mycotoxins, environmental toxins, spinal structural issues and heavy metal toxins are proven to impact the function of these neurons as well. When these factors are all happening at the same time you have a perfect storm. So no matter how many piano lessons, puzzles and memory games you play if these factors are present, your risk and deterioration of neurons will likely accelerate.
Let’s take a look at what researchers are finding and some of the ways treating the immune system has helped with symptoms of Alzheimer’s.