Neurological symptoms are many and varied and can be diagnosed as many different illnessesME/CFSMSMNALSParkinson'sAutism and Alzheimer's. Some chronically sick patients of each of these illnesses have later been diagnosed with Lyme Disease or Lyme Borreliosis or Neuroborreliosis. That is not to say that everyone with these symptoms has Lyme Diseasebut with the state of the controversy how many patients are properly assessed for Lyme Disease.
Dr. Daniel Cameron(Past)President of ILADS (International Association of Lyme and Associated Diseases)describes neurological symptomsthe severity of the disease and its long term effects. Also covered is the difficulty of treatmentprevention recommendations and co-infections. The high costs to society are also discussed.
The presentation was made at a Lyme disease seminar on October 62009 in the Candlewood InnBrookfieldCT. It was hosted by the Rotary Club and the Lyme Disease Task Forces of BrookfieldNewtown and RidgefieldCT.
Information on Involvement of the Human Brain and Central Nervous System As more becomes known about the possible long-term effects of neurological Lyme diseasealso known as Lyme borreliosisit becomes imperative that both the general public and medical professionals are made more aware of this disease. The organisms that cause Lyme disease in Europe include at least three species within the bacterial genus Borrelia. These are Borrelia burgdorferi sensu strictoBorrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii. People with this disease may develop an extensive range of symptoms that affect both the body and the mind. In many cases these symptoms are similar to those that may develop in the disease syphilis. This is because these bacterial (spirochaetal) diseases are closely related.
Main symptoms indicating nervous system involvementSymptoms of cognitive loss such asMemory impairment or loss (‘brain fog’) Word-finding problems and Dyslexia/ problems dealing with numbers Visual/spatial processing impairment (losing thingsgetting lostdisorganisation) Slowed processing of information Poor abstract reasoning Losses in fields of attention/executive functions such as inability to maintain divided or sustained attention Poor auditory and mental tracking and scanning (loss in ability to follow daily affairswhich is complicated by persistent distractibility) Neurological symptoms and signs includingHeadaches Neuralgiai.e. nerve pain Tremor Panic attacks Facial palsynumbness and tinglingespecially of the face Cranial nerve disturbances such as - Optic neuritistrouble swallowingdistortions of taste and smellvisual disturbancecertain movement disorders States that mimic other defined neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or MS In childrenindications of neurological involvement include behaviour changeslearning disabilitiesschool phobiahypersensitivities of the skin and headaches. Some patients have developed Lyme-relatedPsychoses including hallucinations and delusions Seizures Violent behaviourirritability Rage attacks/inability to control impulses/out of context crying spells Depression Anxiety/Panic attacks Rapid mood swings that may mimic bipolar disorder (mania/depression) Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) Sleep Disorders An Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)-like syndrome Autism-like syndrome A progressive dementia Further Sources of Information. *More information on treatment is available at the website of The International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS)a professional medical and research society. The document ‘Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses’ by Dr. Joseph Burrascano is recommended. See http://www.ilads.org/ *The Lyme Disease Research Program at Columbia UniversityNew York has further professional information upon the role of neurology and psychiatry. Available at http://www.columbia-lyme.org/ *Dr. Robert Bransfielda psychiatrist who specialises in infectious causes of neuropsychiatric illnesshas developed a structured clinical interview to assess Lyme seronegative patients. See http://www.mentalhealthandillness.com/