There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the existence of chronic manifestations of Lyme disease. These studies have found that the Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) infection can cause chronic illness, even when the standard 14- to 21-day antibiotic treatment regime is initiated in the early stages of the disease. [1,2] Additional research has also found that these patients have a high risk of an impaired quality of life. [3,4]
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.
Regardless of what term is used — chronic Lyme disease or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome — the undisputed fact remains: If a diagnosis of Lyme disease is missed and appropriate treatment is not provided early on, patients can suffer with long-lasting, and sometimes debilitating symptoms. These infographics highlight the seriousness of the disease, the impact on patients and the urgent need for more monies to be dedicated to researching a medical condition that has hit epidemic levels.
A viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes that was once only a concern to people living in subtropical continents, such as Africa and Asia, is now posing a very real threat to residents in the U.S., particularly those living in Florida and the southern States.
Our healthcare system is spending between $712 million and $1.3 billion each year to treat Lyme disease and any lingering illnesses associated with it, say researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study, “Healthcare Costs, Utilization and Patterns of Care following Lyme disease,” also suggests Lyme disease is more debilitating and widespread than previously thought.
Last year, Canadian public health officials and legislators made great strides in recognizing the existence and threat within their country of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the tick-borne organism which causes Lyme disease. Now, there’s evidence that Babesia, a parasite which infects red blood cells and is transmitted primarily through the bite of black-legged ticks, may have reached Canada, as well.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Yolanda Foster, has made national headlines the past few weeks sharing her most recent struggles with Lyme disease. "Most of you know I have been battling Lyme disease for the past three years. I wasted the first year trying to get diagnosed and spent the next two trying to find a cure,” the 51-year-old former Dutch model writes in her blog. “Unfortunately, I was only able to get to about a 60% recovery until I relapsed in early December and have not been able to find my way back. I’ve lost the ability to read, write…”
Major stories for 2014 on Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. Covering newly discovered tick-borne pathogens, the spread of existing tick-borne diseases into new geographic regions, an increasing focus on co-infections and legislative and educational efforts to deal with the growing epidemic of Lyme disease.
Patients suffering with an illness often turn to their doctors for empathy. This is particularly true for those individuals living with chronic, often debilitating, symptoms. An understanding practitioner can play an important role in aiding a patient back to health and impacting clinical outcomes. Yet, according to a study published in this month's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), mental health clinicians may actually be less likely to show empathy to their patient if there is an underlying, biological cause behind the illness.
OTTAWA - Elizabeth May’s Private Member’s Bill, C-442, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, was passed unanimously at third reading by the Senate the morning of Friday, December 12. The bill now awaits Royal Assent by the Governor General for it to become law.
Dr. Daniel Cameron, MD, MPH, is a nationally recognized leader for his expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. For more than 30 years, he has been treating adolescents and adults suffering from Lyme disease.