Can Lyme disease cause seizures?


Seizures can be caused by various infections including bacterial meningitis, malaria, herpes simplex virus (HSV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, and neurocysticercosis, according to the authors of a newly published study. Additionally, “Lyme disease is another infectious cause of seizures caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.” [1]

In their article “Lyme neuroborreliosis: A case report,” Sayad and colleagues demonstrate that Lyme disease can, in fact, cause seizures.  “Here, we present a case of neuroborreliosis with seizures as the first manifestation in a 55-year-old man.”¹

The patient was admitted to the emergency department with a sudden onset of tonic–clonic seizures. (This type of seizure, also referred to as a grand mal seizure, involves a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.) The patient’s condition rapidly deteriorated and he was intubated.

His initial symptoms began 1 week prior to his hospitalization and included a mild headache, low-grade fever, malaise, anorexia, and vomiting.

Four days before hospitalization, he had his first seizure and was prescribed an anti-convulsive medication and antibiotic.

Routine laboratory tests were normal, except for a positive Wright and 2-mercaptoethanol test. As a result, the man was tested for Lyme disease.

“Our patient was suspected of neuroborreliosis due to aseptic meningitis with lymphocyte dominance. Hence, we requested serum anti-Borrelia antibodies (IgM and IgG) tests, both positive in high titers,” the authors wrote.

“The results of the serologic tests indicated the presence of both IgG and IgM antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi,” the authors wrote.

The patient was treated successfully with IV ceftriaxone for Lyme disease and had a complete resolution of his seizures.

Authors’ Conclude:

  • “Lyme neuroborreliosis can be difficult to diagnose unless it presents with typical symptoms and clinicians actively consider this diagnosis.”
  • “It causes a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders.”
  • “There is no gold standard test that can be relied upon for diagnosis.”
  • “This illness can be successfully treated if treatment starts early with antibiotics.”


  1. Sayad B, Babazadeh A, Barary M, Hosseinzadeh R, Ebrahimpour S, Afshar ZM. Lyme neuroborreliosis: A case report. Clin Case Rep. 2023 Aug 7;11(8):e7702. doi: 10.1002/ccr3.7702. PMID: 37554577; PMCID: PMC10405229.

3 Replies to "Can Lyme disease cause seizures?"

  • julie verhage
    08/21/2023 (8:16 pm)

    i know someone with meningitis, she was a search & rescue dog person; plus i recieve lymetyme. newsletter i also experience low grade fever seems like its my lifestyle ,spasms, so much inflammation, lacking & slow lymph node problem, how can i participate with access to antigen urine tests.

  • Robert Wagner
    08/21/2023 (11:27 am)

    It’s amazing to me how ignorant most of the medical community is regarding Chronic Lyme. I was turned away from every major infectious disease department, ie: U of P, Yale, Jefferson University, Harvard, etc. All said, “We do not diagnose nor treat Lyme” AND, you have to prove that you have it. Antibiotics won’t cure it once it leaves the bloodstream. The suffering of men, women, and children once it is chronic is past malpractice. We had the same issue 35 years ago with Chronic Fatigue syndrome. Then they discovered the Epstein Barr virus and it became a “real” disease”. Tens of thousands suffered. So, 13 years later and now dealing with Lyme Carditis, and coinfections, ie, Babasia, Bartonella, to name a few I have sought homeopathic sources that can get to the nervous system, break down biofilm and exosomes for reduction of brain inflammation. Sadly, the cost is extreme however, it is better than the alternative. Pfizer had a vaccine in the early 2000’s that worked. They were sued over a reaction by someone and removed it from the market. People now need to understand its not just deer ticks or ticks in general.

    • Andreina Barthly
      12/14/2023 (9:20 pm)

      I am suffering so much I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what happened but it seems like Covid has caused something worse to happen to me. I was already suffering seizures after contacting a tick borne illness. It took months for a diagnosis which wreaked havoc on my body.

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