Sunday, April 21, 2024

What Does Lyme Disease Do To The Brain

Must read

Effective Solutions To Restore Your Memory

Here’s how Lyme Disease can damage your brain

Unfortunately, the current CDC treatment guidelines for neurological Lyme are antibiotics that are often ineffective in later stages of the illness, but all hope is not lost. If youre experiencing Lyme-related memory problems, there are lifestyle habits and natural remedies like herbs that can help normalize disrupted communications in the brain and nervous system and enhance your memory. Heres how.

The Stages Of Lyme Disease

With Lyme, people need to understand that there are two stages to the disease: Early- and Late-Disseminated Lyme Disease. Early-Disseminated disease occurs within days to weeks after the tick bite. Tick bite Lyme Disease treatment at this stage helps to prevent later problems. If not caught early, the infection may spread to many other parts of the body, affecting the central nervous system , the peripheral nervous system , the cardiovascular system, the liver, the eyes, and the muscles and joints.

During Late-Disseminated Lyme Disease, inflammation most commonly affects the joints and nervous system, and symptoms occur weeks, months or even years after a tick bite. This stage can also set in as little as two weeks after a bite. In some individuals, these symptoms may be the first symptoms of the disease. This makes it difficult to connect current depression or anxiety to a tick bite from months or years before. Moreover, if one had issues like depression, anxiety or learning difficulties before Lyme Disease, they may not make the connection to the Lyme when these issues worsen.

Achy Stiff Or Swollen Joints

Joint pain and stiffness, often intermittent, are early Lyme symptoms. Your joints may be inflamed, warm to the touch, painful, and swollen. You may have stiffness and limited range of motion in some joints .

Pain may move around. Sometimes your knees may hurt, whereas other times its your neck or your heels. You may also have bursitis . Bursae are the thin cushions between bone and surrounding tissue.

The pain may be severe, and it may be transitory. More than one joint may be affected. Most often the large joints are involved .

People often attribute joint problems to age, genetics, or sports. Lyme should be added to that list, as these statistics indicate:

  • One study estimates that 80 percent of people with untreated Lyme have muscle and joint symptoms .
  • Fifty percent of people with untreated Lyme have intermittent episodes of arthritis .
  • Two-thirds of people have their first episode of joint pain within six months of the infection .
  • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs may mask the actual number of people with joint swelling .


Joint pain that comes and goes, or moves from joint to joint, could be a sign of Lyme.

Recommended Reading: Can You Get Lyme Disease From Eating Deer Meat

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 Diagnose Lyme Disease

99 best images about Lyme and RMSF and Mold Toxins Info on Pinterest

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is not easy. Infection-carrying ticks are fewer in number, and their bites are usually not painful. This makes it difficult for the patients to recollect being bitten by the ticks. Furthermore, most of the symptoms are shared by different disorders.

  • If you locate a tick in your skin, you should remove it immediately with tweezers making sure the entire tick is extracted.
  • Wait a few days to see if any symptoms appear. If they do, you must contact your primary care physician and discuss your symptoms.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have been ill for four weeks or longer. The doctor will examine the bite, search for a rash, and order blood tests to determine the presence of Lyme disease.

Special testing may be required for those who have joint swelling or nervous system disorders. The doctor may need to draw fluid from the swollen joint or the spine to look for signs of the illness.

However, these are not always required to make a diagnosis. They frequently produce false findings, particularly in early-stage Lyme disease.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Lyme Disease After Tick Bite

A Rich Persons Disease

Since chronic Lyme is not a recognized disease, its difficult to get insurance coverage, so patients are usually stuck paying out of pocket for treatment.

Pauley, who lives in Woodstock, Illinois, is still searching for affordable treatments.

Her dementia-like symptoms made it impossible to continue working as a veterinary assistant, and she quit her veterinary clinic job in 2020. Previously, she had quit her physician assistant job in La Crosse and moved back to Illinois.

It was hard, she said. I went from the middle-upper class to the poverty line.

She went to see a Lyme-literate doctor in Milwaukee in August, when she was also suspected to have Bartonella. Pauley was charged $525 per hour for the initial consultation fee, not counting testing fees and supplements. She was irritated to hear the doctor refer to it as a rich persons disease.

Its hard to understand any doctors that charge like Beverly Hills lifestyle out in the Midwest, she said. Were not celebrities, and I dont get paid 30 million per film.

Stevens said her average costs out of pocket range from $25,000 to $50,000 a year. It was a huge strain on us, she said. This is why a lot of people cant get better, because they cant afford it.

Cashman knows the financial burdens chronic Lyme patients bear, too.

Although all five women interviewed by Wisconsin Watch have tried unconventional treatments, they say they are skeptical about anyone who claims their chronic illness can be cured quickly.

How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed

In areas where the ticks that carry Lyme disease are endemic, when a patient with probable erythema migrans sees a doctor, blood tests are performed to diagnose the condition, including:

  • Step 1: Enzyme immunoassay or immunofluorescence assay Total Lyme titer or IgG and IgM titers
  • Step 2: Western blot testing only performed if step 1 test results are positive

Other tests that may be indicated include:

  • Joint aspiration to see if there is another cause for fluid buildup on the joints
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • Electrocardiogram

Read Also: Where To Test Ticks For Lyme Disease

Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

Not all cases of Lyme disease can be prevented. But you can help protect your family from tick bites. If you go into an area where ticks live, be sure to:

  • Stay in the middle of the trail, instead of going through high grass or the woods.
  • Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck pant legs into shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up legs.
  • Use an insect repellent.
  • Consider treating clothing and gear with permethrin to repel ticks. When used properly, permethrin is safe for all ages. But don’t use it on clothing or other material a child may suck on or chew.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
  • Shower and wash hair after being outside to remove ticks before they attach.

Does Lyme Impair Memory 6 Restorative Solutions To Help Get Your Brain Back On Track

Lyme Disease | Brain Fog | Chronic Fatigue: You Can Get Well

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten the very reason you went there in the first place? Or, how about searching high and low for your missing glasses, only to discover theyve been on top of your head the whole time? Weve all experienced brief moments of forgetfulness once in a while, and mostly, they can be humorous. But if youre struggling with neurological manifestations of Lyme disease, memory issues may be a daily, discouraging occurrence and thats no laughing matter.

So why do memory issues and chronic Lyme disease go hand in hand? And more importantly, what does this mean for the health of your brain and its capacity to store and recall information over time? Lets take a closer look at the reasons why your memory may not be operating optimally, plus natural solutions to restore its function.

Don’t Miss: Lyme Disease Rash Early Stage

Breaking Down Lyme Disease And The Blood

byJennifer Crystalon October 1, 2020

In previous posts, Ive mentioned the blood-brain barrier and the fact that tick-borne illnesses can cross it and infect the central nervous system. Daniel Cameron, M.D. and I also talked about the blood-brain barrier as part of our webinar on Lyme and COVID-19. Several patients have asked me to explain what exactly the blood-brain barrier is, how/why tick-borne infections cross it, and what it means when they do. Rather than give a short answer in one of my Dear Lyme WarriorHelp! FAQ posts, I thought Id dedicate a blog to breaking down the science of the blood-brain barrier into laymans terms.

The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. Since it plays a key role in most bodily functions, the body wants to protect the CNS from anything that could harm it, like pathogens. Therefore, the CNS has security: a protective border of cells that form the walls of blood vessels that regulate what moves between the blood and the brain. According to the Journal of Neuroinflammation, this protective border, known as the blood-brain barrier, separates the central nervous system from the peripheral tissues. In order to maintain homeostasis in the CNS, the blood-brain barrier controls material, nutrients and cell transfer from the blood to the brain and from the brain to the blood.

Raxlen, Bernard, M.D. with Cashel, Allie. Lyme Disease: Medical Myopia and the Hidden Global Pandemic. Hammersmith Health Books: London, 2019 .

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.

Recommended Reading: How Is Lyme Disease Caused

Brain Fog In Lyme Disease: What Is It

There are two kinds of brain fog in Lyme disease. Some people have both forms.

  • Type 1 Brain Fog. The first kind is a feeling or sensation of cloudiness or fogginess of the head.
  • Type 2 Brain Fog. The second type is a problem with brain function where a person cannot think. People with thinking problems usually have problems with short-term memory, confusion, poor attention, organization, word finding, or concentration.

Type 1 brain fog is caused by a buildup of cytokine inflammation chemicals and another chemical made in brain infections called quinolinic acid. It is also due to a buildup of toxins in the blood from mold or yeast overgrowth in the intestines. While the literature does not describe this type of brain fog or its treatment. I have observed great improvement in Type 1 brain fog by lowering cytokine inflammation chemicals with liposomal curcumin 500 mg 3 times a day, eliminating intestinal yeast, or removing mold toxins. See Step One: Treat Infections or Mold Toxins below for links to articles on this site regarding yeast and mold toxins. Note, fixing Type 2 brain fog also fixes Type 1 brain fog.

In this article I focus primarily on the treatment steps for Type 2 brain fog. Type 2 brain fog has three possible causes

Lower Inflammation Cytokines And/or Quinolinic Acid

Know the #damage #LymeDisease can cause. Neurological #lyme #disease ...

Curcumin is a component of turmeric that lowers both cytokines and quinolinic acid which improves brain fog. Take a liposomal form of curcumin to increase the absorption. Liposomal means that it is microscopically wrapped in fat to increase its absorption.

  • Curcumin 500 mg 1 pill 3 times a day.

For more information about cytokines and additional supplements see Control Cytokines: A Guide to Fix Lyme Symptoms & The Immune System. For more information about curcumin see Curcumin.

You May Like: Lyme Disease Flare Up Treatment

How Lyme Disease Affects The Brain

By Rachel Keck, MS

Did you ever wonder how Lyme disease affects the brain, including symptoms of brain fog? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 200,000 people are diagnosed every year with Lyme disease.

But many believe the true number of people suffering from Lyme in the United States is actually much higher. Thats because Lyme disease symptoms vary greatly and can impact different people in different ways. Aside from that, the ELISA screening test most doctors use misses up to 35 percent of Lyme cases, making it a horrible first-line detection for the disease.

The problem is likely only going to get worse, too, being that Lyme is among the major health effects of climate change.

Even with many cases missed in the doctors office, Lyme disease is still the most common tickborne disease in the northern hemisphere. Despite being so common, Lyme disease symptoms vary depending on the patient and how the bacteria impacts different systems of the body. In fact, Lyme disease often mimics other diseases or illnesses and be referred to as the new great imitator.

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as such diseases, including:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Autism-like syndromes
  • Various psychiatric illnesses

Solution: Suppress Harmful Microbes And Support Brain Health

To improve brain function, youll have to address persistent, low-grade infections. There may be a time and a place for heroic therapies such as antibioticsgut microbiome, too.

A more restorative approach to subdue harmful pathogens is using herbal therapy, which has a balancing effect on the microbiome and the various systems of the body. Plus, some herbs can safely pass into the brain.

Not sure where to begin? Dr. Rawls preferred herbs specifically for brain health include:

  • Lions Mane: This mushroom contains compounds called erinacines and hericenones, which cross the blood-brain barrier. There, they support normal levels of nerve growth factor , a peptide produced by the body thats essential to nerve cell growth, maintenance, and survival. When NGF levels are in a healthy range, you notice that you have improved mental clarity, focus, and memory.
  • Cats Claw: Native to the Amazon, cats claw has a long history of traditional use for the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory conditions, and its well-known among Lyme disease patients. The herb supports immune function and helps balance the bodys microbiome.
  • Bacopa: A traditional Indian herb, bacopa has been used to bring balance and calm to the nervous system for thousands of years.
  • Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo is one of the oldest living trees on earth. Current and traditional uses of the herb include enhancing blood flow, protecting brain and nerve functions, and supporting cognition.
  • Recommended Reading: Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease Symptoms

    What Is Neurologic Lyme Disease

    Neurologic symptoms of Lyme disease occur when the Lyme disease bacteria affect the peripheral or central nervous systems.

    • Cranial nerve involvement: When the cranial nerves are affected, facial palsy can occur on one or both sides of the face.
    • Peripheral nerve involvement: When the peripheral nerves are affected, patients can develop radiculoneuropathy which can cause numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or weakness in the arms or legs.
    • Central nervous system involvement: When the central nervous system is affected, Lyme meningitis can cause fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and stiff neck.

    Out of every 100 patients whose cases are reported to CDC, 9 have facial palsy, 4 have radiculopathy, and 3 have meningitis or encephalitis. Because of reporting practices, this statistic may overestimate how often these manifestations are seen by clinicians.

    Keeping It In Perspective

    Huntingtonâs disease, Lyme disease, and Stress: How they Affect the Brain

    Its relatively uncommon for Lyme disease to cause brain effects. When Lyme disease does result in or problems with thinking and emotions, there are treatments that can help. Its also important to remember that only a very small portion of cognitive or psychiatric conditions are due to Lyme disease. In any case, talk with your doctor about identifying the cause of your problems and the treatment thats right for you.

    You May Like: How To Check If You Have Lyme Disease

    More articles

    Popular Articles