Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scientists cure disorders in mice by resetting their brains

A team of scientists has cured a brain disorder in adult mice by rebooting the rodents' brains and allowing them to rewire themselves.
Mice in science lab
Adam Gault | Getty Images

The research demonstrates that certain features of young brains can be recreated in mature brains, even in parts of older brains that scientists believed were impervious to change.
It could also pave the way for treating a variety of developmental disorders that begin relatively early in life.

In the early years of life, brains in animals are malleable. The cells in the brains begin making connections at early ages and strengthen those connections throughout life. Those early stages where the brain is rapidly making connections among cells are called critical periods.

Read rest of article:  Scientists cure disorders in mice by resetting their brains

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Antibiotic Resistance Targeted in 21st Century Cures Act

Here is a story that is of concern to me as a Lyme patient treating late-stage neurological Lyme disease. As you may know, different antibiotics are required to treat the bacterium borrelia Bergdorferi and the other co-infections that are often carried by the same ticks that carry the Lyme disease. So Lyme disease patients often need a variety of antibiotics to fully recover.

The amendment to the Cure Act being considered would prevent a second antibiotic to be tried as a treatment for a disease for which a first antibiotic did not work. As Lyme disease patients, those of us with chronic infection would therefore be allowed to try only one antibiotic. If it failed to cure the affliction, that's the end of the road.

Any amendment to the Cures Act aimed at curbing the development of superbugs should, in my opinion, focus on the overuse of antibiotics in the livestock population, not human population. This is where the grossest neglect and overuse of antibiotics is most egregious.


Click for the full story:

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Maryland State Legislators Readying Lyme Bill

And a bi-partisan bill too!

"I don't think you can live anywhere in the state of Maryland and not know someone who is suffering from Lyme disease," said Delegate Kathy Afzali, (R) District 4, and chairwoman of the Frederick County Legislative Delegation.

This revelation led delegates Kathy Afzali and Karen Young (D) District 3, to start prepping a bill that would fund research, encourage education and protect doctors who are treating patients with the debilitating disease.

"We want to advocate to the governor to increase funding for research and we want Maryland to be a ground breaking state in terms of what we want to solve," Afzali said.

Afzali said increasing funding would be one of three parts of the bill. The bill would also push to change disclosure practices for patients who are being tested for the disease.

"Most people don't know that the Lyme test is only 20 percent accurate," Afzali said. "This means that in those early phases of Lyme disease, when a person is most vulnerable, they're often misdiagnosed with a false negative. We want to encourage patients to seek further testing."

The third prong of the legislation would protect doctors who are trying to help patients suffering from the disease.

Afzali said she hopes to introduce the legislation in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly.

Read more:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Constantly tired? Here are some answers

5 Causes of Fatigue Your Doctor May Not be Looking For

Fatigue is one of the most common health complaints, but its cause is not always easy to determine. Read this article to discover five little-known causes of fatigue that should be ruled out if you’re eating right and getting enough sleep, but still feel tired all the time.
in office yawing 

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms that patients report to health care practitioners. In fact, one recent study found that nearly 40 percent of U.S. employees experienced significant fatigue in the previous two week period.

Read the whole article. Good info about molds, Lyme, HHV, and other likely causes of chronic tiredness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lyme Disease and 4 Emerging Tick-Borne Illnesses -- a presentation



Lyme Disease and 4 Emerging Tick-Borne Illnesses

Herbert S. Diamond, MD  |  July 21, 2015


23 slides


Ticks can carry and transmit a wide array of pathogens that can cause diseases in humans, including bacteria, spirochetes, rickettsiae, protozoa, viruses, nematodes, and toxins.[1] Tick-borne diseases can be found throughout the world[2] and, in recent years, several new ones have emerged (eg, Powassan disease,[3] Borrelia miyamotoi infection,[4] Heartland virus disease,[5]Bourbon virus disease,[6,7] 364D rickettsiosis[8]).

In the United States, tick-borne diseases include the following[8]:

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Borrelia miyamotoi infection*
  • Bourbon virus disease*
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Erlichiosis
  • Heartland virus (HRTV) disease*
  • Lyme disease (LD)*
  • Powassan (POW) disease*
  • Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
  • Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI)
  • Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF)
  • Tularemia
  • 364D rickettsiosis

* Discussed in this slideshow.

Images courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Steven Glenn, Laboratory & Consultation Division (top left); CDC (bottom left); Dreamstime/Svetlana67 (tick on leaf); and Sam Shlomo Spaeth (sidebar).

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New, quicker, more accurate Lyme test in development


TGen developing quick, affordable and accurate test to diagnose debilitating Lyme disease

Focus On Lyme funds TGen research; plans scientific conference promoting better diagnostics and treatments for infected patients

GILBERT, Ariz. — July 20, 2015 — Focus On Lyme, an initiative sponsored by the Leadership Children's Foundation of Gilbert, Ariz., has donated $75,000 to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to support research into the development of a quick, affordable and accurate method of diagnosing Lyme disease. 

The most common vector-borne illness in the U.S., Lyme disease affects an estimated 300,000 Americans annually.

Today, no perfect test for Lyme disease exists due to three main barriers: multiple strains of Lyme bacteria often confound test results, the existence of related bacteria may cause false positive test results and most Lyme infections typically present at a level not detectable by current testing methods.

Scientists at TGen's Pathogen Genomics Division in Flagstaff, Ariz. — TGen North — will use the power of targeted DNA sequencing to develop and validate a test to measure the presence and severity of tick-borne Lyme disease at the genomic level.

By analyzing a sample's DNA, the new test should be able to pinpoint Lyme disease, identify multiple Lyme strains, detect other tick-related infections, and show non-Lyme causes of disease.

"With recent advances at TGen and genomics overall, we can finally develop a diagnostic test that will put more actionable information into the hands of the physician than previously possible. We are thrilled to be working with Focus On Lyme on this project," said Dr. Paul Keim, Professor and Director of TGen North and Director of the Center for Microbial Genetics & Genomics at Northern Arizona University (NAU), which will help develop the test.

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease occurs naturally in mice, squirrels and other small animals. The infection spreads as ticks feed on these animals and then bite humans. Although deer are not a source of the bacteria, they are important for the life cycle the ticks.
This infection can manifest with a bulls-eye rash or a non-specific rash, but not always.  Flu like symptoms, such as fever, headache, body aches and fatigue can last a few days to a few weeks.

Undiagnosed and untreated cases can lead to fatigue, painful and swollen joints, memory loss, insomnia, heart palpitations, difficulty with concentration and other changes, including those that mimic other diseases, complicating a clinical diagnosis. 

This is why an accurate diagnostic tool is essential.

"We chose to partner with TGen because they have the best and most experienced pathogen researchers in the world," said Tammy Crawford, Executive Director of Focus On Lyme. "TGen has a proven record of success. I am convinced there is no one more qualified to develop an improved diagnostic test for Lyme disease." 
Lyme disease was first described in 1977 following investigation of a cluster of arthritis cases among children living near Lyme, Conn. Further study indicated that arthritis was a manifestation of a tick-transmitted disease.

If detected early, most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics. Lyme disease can be prevented by using insect or tick repellent, promptly removing ticks, applying pesticides, treating pets for ticks, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease also can transmit other tick-borne diseases.

Focus On Lyme plans an inaugural Scientific Conference about Lyme disease on Feb. 11-13, 2016. This invite-only event will bring researchers, clinicians and more together to discuss diagnosis and treatment for Lyme patients. A fundraising dinner is planned Feb. 12, 2016. Proceeds will assist clinical trials and FDA approval of TGen's diagnostic tool.

# # #

About Focus On Lyme
Focus On Lyme was formed in 2015 to discover solutions in diagnostics, prevention, treatment and advocacy for Lyme disease sufferers.  The best Lyme diagnostic tools that exist today are only 50 percent accurate and for those that are correctly diagnosed, there is not an accurate tool to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment.  Focus On Lyme is striving to provide immediate diagnosis and treatment to Lyme patients worldwide delivering a higher quality of life and minimal long-term effects.  Focus On Lyme is sponsored by Leadership Children's Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by donating money to causes that help preserve childhood and improve the quality of life for young people across the nation.  For more information, visit:

Media Contact:
Tammy Crawford

About Leadership Children's Foundation
The Leadership Children's Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children. LCF gives money throughout the year to children's causes that help preserve childhood and improve the quality of life for young people across the nation. From child abuse prevention and treatment to the fight against childhood diseases, LCF has directed more than $2 million dollars to global organizations dedicated to helping children. For more information, visit

About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit:

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tiny Tick, Big Controversy

Emily Lampa from WMDT 47 (east coast, Delaware/Maryland/Virginia area)

News Journalist Emily Lampa has done a four-part documentary talking about the controversy of Lyme Disease. The documentary is called, "Tiny Tick Big Controversy." Lampa interviews Chronic Lyme patients, doctors that don't believe in chronic Lyme, and goes over the faulty testing methods used today. An increasing number of reporters are tackling this topic lately, in an attempt to dig down through the misunderstandings and get to the truth about what Lyme patients are going through. You'll see four videos on the page. Click each one in turn, to play the documentary in full.

Click here to see the videos:

I was having a little trouble finding a reliable link. Use this one if the above doesn't work. You may have to scroll to the top of the resulting page to see the videos:


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Alzheimer's Drugs In The Works Might Help Other Diseases, Too

Seems to work on Parkinson's disease, too. 

Efforts to find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease have been disappointing so far. But there's a new generation of drugs in the works that researchers think might help not only Alzheimer's patients, but also people with Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders.

Previous efforts to treat Alzheimer's have focused on a single target — usually the protein called beta-amyloid, says Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Association. "The one-target approach is probably not going to be the answer," Carrillo says.

See rest of story:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Harvard-Singapore team unveil potential Parkinson's cure

If this treatment proves to be truly effective, count me in! I needed a bit of good news today, as I have been going through a rough spell, revisited by some old symptoms that I had hoped I'd never have to endure again. (Silly me!)



A team of international scientists announced a medical breakthrough in Singapore on Thursday that could improve millions of lives: existing anti-malaria drugs have the ability to treat Parkinson's disease, according to new research by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital. 
Parkinson's is a fatal degenerative disorder that impacts the central nervous system, causing people to lose control of motor movements. Seven to ten million people worldwide are currently diagnosed with the disease and there is no known cure.
After screening over 1000 drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the scientists discovered that chloroquine and amodiaquine—two common anti-malaria treatments—could bind and activate a class of proteins in the brain vital to fight Parkinson's. Called Nurr1, these proteins protect the brain's ability to generate dopamine neurons, which are essential to the body's movement of muscles. Patients with the disease gradually cease the production of dopamine neurons, thus losing motor control.
"Backed by various lines of scientific evidence, Nurr1 is known to be a potential drug target to treat Parkinson's. Despite great efforts from pharmaceutical companies and academia, no one has managed to find a molecule which can directly bind to it and activate it, except for us," said Professor Kwang-Soo Kim from Harvard's McLean Hospital. 
In laboratory tests on rats, the team found that by activating Nurr1, the rats with Parkinson's appeared to have their symptoms alleviated. 
Current treatment for the disorder is aimed at replenishing dopamine levels via medication or surgical methods but while these methods improve mobility functions in the early stage, they cannot slow down or stop the disease, Professor Kim explained. 
"Our research shows that existing drugs can be repurposed to treat other diseases and once several potential drugs are found, we can redesign them to be more effective in combating their targeted diseases while reducing the side effects," said NTU Associate Professor Yoon Ho Sup. 
Parkinson's typically affects people over the age of 60, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and as countries battle with rapidly ageing populations, cases of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's are widely expected to rise. 
The scientists are now aiming to design better drugs for the disease by modifying chloroquine and amodiaquine with the hope of carrying out clinical trials soon. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Excellent radio program about ticks with entomologist Robert Lane

Excellent interview with UC Berkeley, Robert Lane, Medical Entomologist about Lyme disease

I think this is a must-hear interview. Robert works at U.C. Berkeley and has been researching Lyme for 30 years. The interviewer really asks the tough questions. At first she sounds like a lightweight but she adeptly probes Robert's deep knowledge on how to protect yourself, prevalence of Lyme in different states, especially northern California. He also addresses the issue of IDSA and ILADS differences and why he thinks it is such a hot topic in the medical community.  

Search for Mind, Body, Health
Look under the date:
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 9:00 

Look for
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 9:00 am1:00:02

Begins at 3:00 min.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Suppression of Long-Lived Humoral Immunity Following Borrelia burgdorferi Infection

  • Published: July 2, 2015
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004976 


Lyme Disease caused by infection with Borrelia burgdorferi is an emerging infectious disease and already by far the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. Similar to many other infections, infection with B. burgdorferi results in strong antibody response induction, which can be used clinically as a diagnostic measure of prior exposure. However, clinical studies have shown a sometimes-precipitous decline of such antibodies shortly following antibiotic treatment, revealing a potential deficit in the host's ability to induce and/or maintain long-term protective antibodies. This is further supported by reports of frequent repeat infections with B. burgdorferi in endemic areas. The mechanisms underlying such a lack of long-term humoral immunity, however, remain unknown. We show here that B. burgdorferi infected mice show a similar rapid disappearance of Borrelia-specific antibodies after infection and subsequent antibiotic treatment. This failure was associated with development of only short-lived germinal centers, micro-anatomical locations from which long-lived immunity originates. These showed structural abnormalities and failed to induce memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells for months after the infection, rendering the mice susceptible to reinfection with the same strain of B. burgdorferi. The inability to induce long-lived immune responses was not due to the particular nature of the immunogenic antigens of B. burgdorferi, as antibodies to both T-dependent and T-independent Borrelia antigens lacked longevity and B cell memory induction. Furthermore, influenza immunization administered at the time of Borrelia infection also failed to induce robust antibody responses, dramatically reducing the protective antiviral capacity of the humoral response. Collectively, these studies show that B. burgdorferi-infection results in targeted and temporary immunosuppression of the host and bring new insight into the mechanisms underlying the failure to develop long-term immunity to this emerging disease threat.

Full text of study:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Not Just Lyme Disease Anymore: 7 New Reasons To Fear Ticks This Summer

'Not Just Lyme Disease Anymore': 7 New Reasons To Fear Ticks This Summer

Michael Vitelli of Marshfield Hills, Mass., a fit and active father of four who was recently laid low by the tick-borne disease anaplasmosis. (Courtesy)

 Michael Vitelli of Marshfield Hills, Mass., a fit and active father of four who was recently laid low by the tickborne disease anaplasmosis. (Courtesy)

A father of four boys, Michael Vitelli of Marshfield Hills, Mass., lives a high-energy, outdoor and active life when he's not at work. He fishes, he hikes, he golfs, he can even boast a running streak of 642 days in a row.

But last month, on what would have been day 643 of running, a tick brought him to an excruciating halt.

After feeling achey for a few days, Vitelli suddenly got too sick to get out of bed, as if with a summer flu — fever, sweats and chills, headache. Then he got even sicker. His test results looked dire: protein and bile in his urine;  liver function gone haywire; platelets, red and white blood cells down so low that his chart looked like he had leukemia, a doctor told him.

The diagnosis, after three days in the hospital: anaplasmosis, an infection borne by the same deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. It's up dramatically in Massachusetts: About 600 confirmed and probable cases statewide last year, compared to closer to just 100 in 2010.

Never heard of it? Neither had Vitelli. Naturally, he'd heard of Lyme, which has spread across much of the country in recent decades and now infects an estimated 300,000 Americans a year at least, mainly in New England and the Midwest.

But like most people, he didn't know that ticks can carry a whole array of nasty bugs — with obscure names like babesiosis and Borrelia miyamotoi — and that, though much less common, they, too, are on the rise, following more slowly behind the inexorable march of Lyme disease.

(Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health)

Read the full (very inclusive, complete with lots of reader comments) story here:


Lyme disease: can 10 minutes make a difference?

Many patients are unaware of Lyme disease symptoms.

This article is incomplete, and is based on CDC publication (2015) and Dr Wormser, et al study from 2006. Notice that near the end of the full article, the author advises doctors to tell their patients that since it takes weeks for antibodies to appear after a bite, not to bother with Lyme disease blood testing. While this is true about the antibody delay, many cautious LLMDs will treat with at least 14 days of Doxycycline just to be on the safe side. Dissemination of Lyme (and coinfections) can into the body can occur rapidly. I think patients should be advised of the controversy over Lyme detection and treatment options and be allowed to chose the treatment standard of care they prefer -- CDC/IDSA or ILADS.

This approach of trying to protect the patient reminds me of the debate over so-called silver (amalgam that includes mercury) tooth fillings vs composite (plastic/ceramic) fillings. Some states require the dentist to offer or at least disclose the patient on the existence of options. Some states prevent any disclosure about potential for mercury toxicity.

What makes more sense to you? Suppression of information in order to not confuse the patient, or giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are intelligent enough to make an intelligent choice? I think the medical establish had better wake up to the fact that the Internet is not going away anytime soon. I know *I* look up just about everything I am curious about, using a search engine. Patients are going to feel better about a doctor if they are made aware of controversy over a diagnosis and treatment plan, just as would be done in the case of, say, cancer treatment trials.

- Bob
Many patients are unaware of Lyme disease symptoms. 
It is a known fact that reported cases of Lyme disease are increasing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported cases of Lyme disease increased by approximately 5,000 cases from 2012 to 2013.1 Each year, 96% of the reported cases come from 13 states in the Northeast and upper Midwest.1 Although health-care professionals may not find these data surprising, the general public is not as knowledgeable about the condition.
Many providers incorrectly assume that patients, especially those living in high-risk areas, are familiar with Lyme disease and its attendant symptoms. Recently, I had a patient tell me that she was tested for Lyme disease after being bitten by an unknown insect. When asked if she had experienced symptoms of Lyme disease, she replied, "I don't even know what the symptoms are."
This was not an isolated incident, as I have been questioned by many people about Lyme disease. I have had people tell me that they do not know what a tick looks like. Others ask how to identify the classic "bull's-eye" rash, since many people have false ideas about the presentation of erythema migrans. I have been asked about vague symptoms that people have experienced, as well as what symptoms are associated with Lyme disease. Patients have also asked whether treatment is necessary and if all tick bites require treatment.
Read the rest of the story:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Why Can't I Get Better? The Lyme MSDIS Map in Chronic Disease HD 1

Here's a terrific video by Richard Horowitz, M.D., author of "Why Can't I Get Better?" If you have a little bit of medical knowledge, you'll learn a lot about treatment for chronic Lyme disease. I'm impressed that the entire video for free. It's over an hour and a half in length. -Bob

At the May 17, 2014 "Symposium on Tick-borne Diseases", Dr. Richard Horowitz provided the attendees with a detailed list of contributing factors which can cause a delay in recovery from Lyme disease. The discussion follows his excellent book of the same title which is available from major booksellers. The discussion is not limited to only those patients with Lyme disease - it is relevant for any person suffering from a chronic illness. The discussion is approximately an hour and a half long. The "Symposium on Tick-borne Diseases" was hosted by the Lyme Disease Association of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides educational resources on tick-borne diseases. Please consider supporting our work: LDAESM, P.O. Box 5360, Salisbury, Maryland 21802. Thank you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

HR 6 passes US House of Representatives!

It's rare that I see the same exciting news release for both Parkinson's disease and Lyme disease, but today is an exception. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House of Representatives in Washington DC with flying colors. This is indeed an historic moment. Why? This bill appropriates real money and resources toward the search for prevention of and cures for neurological diseases. Now all we have to do is put the pressure on the Senate to pass the bill and send it on to the President's desk. 

Think of this bill like a Manhattan project but instead of building the atomic bomb, the best minds will be working on figuring out what the heck causes the debilitating, heartbreaking idiopathic neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, chronic Lyme, MS, ALS, Multiple System Atrophy, and so on. Maybe there is a God after all.

Dear Parkinson's community,

One important milestone for a historic piece of legislation has been reached. This morning the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) by a resounding vote of 344 to 77

Thank you for your phone calls, emails, and advocacy over the last few months in support of this bipartisan legislation, which will accelerate the discovery and development of new treatments for Parkinson's!

The 21st Century Cures Act includes one of PAN's top policy priorities, the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act, which will, among other things, finally provide us with an accurate count of how many Americans live with Parkinson's disease. The 21st Century Cures Act also invests in critical medical research at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and encourages patient-focused drug development.

Now our attention turns to the Senate, where we'll need a strong show of support. Please take a few minutes to email your Senators about this important cause as well as thank your Representative for voting. Take Action!

Thank you again for your advocacy. We look forward to working with you to move this across the finish line in the months ahead!


Ted Thompson
Chief Executive Officer
P.S. We're excited by the progress of this legislation - please consider a gift to PAN to help us continue this important work!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Rep Chris Gibson speaks about the Lyme bill in the US House

ON JULY 10, 2015Rep. Chris Gibson speaks in support of HR 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. 
HR 6 includes provisions authored by US House Rep. Gibson to combat Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses. See him make a 1-minute statement of support for the bill from the House floor:

We ARE making progress! Kudos to Rep Gibson and many others who helped draft the Lyme section of the bill. 


Number of ticks infected with Lyme Disease reaches epidemic level

Health officials say the number of ticks infected with Lyme Disease has reached epidemic level.
WCVB Boston July 7, 2015

Dr Shelia Statlender is interviewed.

Neuroborreliosis: the Guillain-Barré mimicker

Tyagi N, Maheswaran T, Wimalaratna S.

BMJ Case Reports, Online first, 2015 Jun 25.


A 34-year-old woman presented to the medical admissions unit with progressive ascending weakness of her limbs and areflexia. Diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome was suspected and she was started on intravenous immunoglobulins. 

Owing to a poor initial response, further exploratory history revealed travel to the New Forest and a possible tick bite; subsequent investigations confirmed positive serology for antibodies against Borrelia. The patient's weakness improved with intravenous ceftriaxone for neuroborreliosis, a manifestation of Lyme disease. 

With inpatient neurorehabilitation, she made good recovery and was able to mobilise with a stick from being completely bed bound 6 weeks after completion of her antibiotics.

*Intestinal Pseudoobstruction Caused by Chronic Lyme Neuroborreliosis

Intestinal Pseudoobstruction Caused by Chronic Lyme 
Neuroborreliosis. A Case Report

David F Schefte and Tyge Nordentoft
/Journal of / /Neurogastroenterology and Motility/, 2015; 
21(3): 440-442.


Chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction is often classified as 
idiopathic. The condition is associated with poor quality of 
life and high morbidity, and treatment options are often 

A case of chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction in a 
66-year-old woman, presenting with back and abdominal pain, 
urinary retention and severe constipation is described. The 
patient lived in an area in which Lyme disease is endemic 
and had been bitten by ixodes ticks. Intrathecal synthesis 
of anti-borrelia IgM and IgG and lymphocytosis in the 
cerebrospinal fluid was found, consistent with chronic Lyme 
neuroborreliosis since symptoms had lasted for more than six 

The patient's gastrointestinal function recovered and the 
pain subsided significantly following treatment with 
antibiotics. Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) often results in 
palsy, but rarely affects the autonomic nervous system. 
Three patients have been described with intestinal 
pseudoobstruction due to acute LNB.

However, this is the first described case of intestinal 
pseudoobstruction due to chronic Lyme neuroborreliosis. LNB 
must be suspected in patients with intestinal 
pseudoobstruction, in particular in patients who have been 
bitten by an ixodes tick and in patients living in an 
endemic area.

Dr. Richard Horowitz M.D. comments on UC Davis Lyme findings

FYI  Posted by Karla:
On his Facebook page, Dr. Horowitz explains why important new research from UC Davis may explain why many Lyme patients may continue to demonstrate a positive IgM profile and fail to develop a positive IgG profile. This is contrary to the current recommendations of the IDSA, the CDC, and the NYS DOH to physicians to ignore all positive B. burgdorferi IgM profiles after one month of illness.

Press Release- Lyme disease subverts immune system, prevents future protection:
Suppression of Long-Lived Humoral Immunity Following Borrelia burgdorferi Infection:   

Dr. Horowitz facebook: 

Dr. Horowitz: "Borrelia burdorferi has developed one more strategy to evade the immune system. Nicole Baumgarth and her colleagues at the University of California, Davis, just published a groundbreaking study showing why some people living in endemic areas can continually be exposed to spirochetes and not clear the infection with an adequate immune response. According to the study done in mice, borrelia is able to rapidly invade the lymph nodes, and cause a destruction of the distinct architecture of the lymph node that helps it to function normally. "While B cells accumulated in large numbers and made some specific antibodies against B. burgdorferi, they did not form "germinal centers", structures that are needed for the generation of highly functional and long-lived antibody responses". Borrelia also subverted a B cell response (B cells produce antibodies to fight infection), and instead, caused T cell independence, leading to an IgM skewed profile (in our practice, we often see many more IgM positive Western blots in patients with chronic persistent Lyme, as opposed to IgG positive Western blots). These findings suggest that "B. burgdorferi hinders the immune system from generating a response that is fully functional and that can persist and protect after repeat infections", and suggests a novel evasion strategy for B. burgdorferi by subverting the quality of a strongly induced, potentially protective borrelia-specific antibody response."

More important information from Dr. Horowitz in the comments section of his Facebook post:

Dr. Richard Horowitz - I'm looking into pulsing antibiotics and persister drugs (like those used for TB and Hansen's disease) in Lyme. We are presently accumulating data, but some of the results have been very encouraging in resistant patients. I presented preliminary data last weekend at Omega. When the studies are completed, I will share them at the upcoming Lyme conference at Kripalu in December.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Very interesting Lyme legality site


Lyme disease subverts immune system, prevents future protection

July 2, 2015


The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are able to trick an animal's immune system into not launching a full-blown immune response or developing lasting immunity to the disease, report researchers at the University of CaliforniaDavis.

The discovery may explain why some human patients remain vulnerable to repeat infections by the same strain of bacteria, especially in regions where Lyme disease is prevalent. It also suggests that blood tests may not be an effective method for detecting previous exposure to Lyme disease, by far the most common vector-borne disease in the United States and Europe
Findings from this mouse-based study are reported July 2 in the online scientific journal PLOS Pathogens, published by the Public Library of Science.

"We demonstrated that an animal infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the corkscrew-shaped bacteria that cause Lyme disease, launches only a short-lived immune response, and that protective immunity against repeat infections quickly wanes," said Nicole Baumgarth, a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and an authority on immune response to infectious diseases at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine.

"This study also suggests a possible mechanism responsible for the disappearance of antibodies following infection and subsequent treatment with antibiotics," she said.

The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are transmitted to humans and animals through bites from infected ticks. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous system. About 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed annually in the United States.

The bacteria initially trigger a strong immune response in an infected animal, but findings from this study indicate that the bacteria soon cause structural abnormalities in "germinal centers" — sites in lymph nodes and other lymph tissues that are key to producing a long-term protective immune response.

For months after infection, those germinal centers fail to produce the specific cells — memory B cells and antibody-producing plasma cells — that are crucial for producing lasting immunity. In effect, the bacteria prevent the animal's immune system from forming a "memory" of the invading bacteria and launching a protective immune response against future infections.

The researchers found that following Borrelia burgdorferi infection, this process even prevented induction of strong immune responses to an influenza infection.

Funding for the study was provided by grants from National Institutes of Health and National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Additional information:

Media contact(s):



Carl Tuttle
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Monday, July 6, 2015

Blacklegged Tick Populations Have Expanded Via Migration, Penn Biologists Show

Lyme disease cases are on the rise, with diagnoses occurring in areas that were historically Lyme-free. Scientists attribute the spread to the fact that populations of blacklegged ticks, which carry the bacteria that causes the disease, now flourish in areas once thought to be devoid of ticks.

In a new study, biologists from the University of Pennsylvania, together with colleagues from the New York Department of Health and State University of New York at Albany, used genetic and phylogeographic analyses to determine the origin and recent migratory history of newly discovered tick populations in the Northeastern United States. Their findings indicate that the ticks moved into new areas from established populations, mainly through short-distance, local moves. The results shed light on patterns of disease spread and could have implications for strategies to control ticks in order to reduce disease.

Read the full story:

Bell's Palsy of the Gut?

Lyme can cause gastroparesis, loss of gag reflex, and many other gut problems! See "Bell's Palsy of the Gut" article at

Unusual long rash of bartonellosis

Thanks to Virginia Sherr, MD for her image.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

RI Blood Center Lays Off 60 To Offset Cost Of New Babesiosis Test

RI Blood Center Lays Off 60 To Offset Cost Of New Babesiosis Test

Kristin Gourlay

The Rhode Island Blood Center will lay off 60 people by this fall. That's to help cover the cost of screening for a tick-borne disease that's on the rise in Rhode Island: babesiosis.

Babesiosis  causes flu-like symptoms in some, but it can be life-threatening for the elderly or people with weak immune systems. It spreads through tick bites and blood transfusions. It's become the top transfusion-transmitted disease in the country, and it's endemic in Rhode Island.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hear various speakers talk about tick-byte prevention

Listen and learn from speakers from the Cary Institute, Dutchess County Department of Health, Cornell University, SUNY Adirondack and Hudson Valley Lyme Disease Association.

--- NYS Senator Serino ---

Full Forum at:
With tick season in full swing, Senator Sue Serino brought critical information...directly to...
I joined the State Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases at the first Community Forum ...

Some pictures follow
Senator Serino is pictured above (from left to right) with members of the panel: Richard Ostfeld, Jill and Ira Auerbach, Holly Ahern, Matt Frye, and Andrew Sherman Rotans.
Right to left Ben Elone with Ira,
Sen. Serino, Assemblymbr Barrett
Ira models permethrin impregnated
clothing, including gaiters