Could low-dose naltrexone help Lyme disease patients?

Lyme disease patients presenting with an erythema migrans rash have been found to have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. According to Aucott and colleagues, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, these levels can remain high in patients even after three weeks of antibiotics. [1]

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‘One bite, six diseases’ – all from the same tick

Doctors created the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) in recognition of the need for a medical organization to address the growing number of tick-borne illnesses.

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Lyme carditis causes complete heart block in 26-year-old man

In the June issue of Clinical Case Reports, doctors describe a 26-year-old man with complete heart block due to Lyme carditis. The man, who had no significant medical history, had been on a fishing trip three weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital. He reported having a mild erythematous rash, along with a tick bite on his right second toe, which became swollen but resolved within 2 days. Two weeks later, he began having episodic fevers and chills and developed a well-circumscribed macular rash on his left upper abdomen.

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Atypical presentation of early disseminated Lyme disease

A case report by Kantamaneni and colleagues demonstrates the difficulty in diagnosing patients with atypical presentations of Lyme disease. The authors describe an 80-year-old woman, living in Pennsylvania, who was admitted to the hospital in June 2015 with nonspecific neurological symptoms including fever, confusion, headaches, bilateral lower extremity weakness, and an episode of stool incontinence. [1]

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12-year-old boy suffers cardiac arrest due to Lyme disease

In the February 2017 issue of HeartRhythm Case Reports, doctors describe what they believe is the first case of a Lyme disease patient presenting as fulminant myocarditis and cardiac arrest. Lyme disease has been associated with junctional ectopic tachycardia (JET) and fascicular tachycardia. In this instance, JET was secondary to fulminant myocarditis.

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Dogs in Canada at risk for Lyme disease

It’s not just humans who are at risk for developing Lyme disease in Canada, but dogs, as well. According to a 2017 study, published in the journal Parasites and Vectors, out of 115,636 dogs, 2,844 (2.5%) were positive using a SNAP test for the antibody to B. burgdorferi. [1]

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Could dormancy allow Lyme disease to survive antibiotics?

“Dormancy is a protective state where diverse bacteria including M. tuberculosis, S. aureus, T. pallidum (syphilis), and B. burgdorferi (Lyme Disease) curtail metabolic activity to survive external stresses including antibiotics,” states Mali from the University of Houston in the Journal Bacteriology. [1]

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16-year-old boy with Lyme disease presenting as depression

David, a 16-year-old boy, was initially presumed to suffer from long-standing depression. He exhibited anger, frustration, insomnia, poor appetite, mild weight loss, and passive suicidal ideation. David presented with “long-standing depression, exacerbated recently when he stopped dating a girl after only two weeks because he felt too tired and not smart enough,” according to Fallon and colleagues. [1] “He reported feeling spaced out all the time, as if in a fog.”

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7-year-old girl with Lyme disease presenting as attention deficit disorder

Children are at the greatest risk for developing Lyme disease, with the highest rates of infection occurring in those ages 5 to 9. And out of the more than 300,000 people diagnosed annually in the U.S. with Lyme disease, 25% are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is particularly alarming given that the disease can be difficult to identify in younger patients with symptoms often overlooked or attributed to other medical conditions.

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Stroke as a manifestation of Lyme disease

Strokes should be added to the list of manifestations of Lyme disease based on a 2007 systematic review published in Frontiers in Neurology. [1] The authors identified 88 patients in the literature presenting with cerebrovascular course of Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB).

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