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LYME SCI: When brain inflammation persists after Lyme disease treatment

Posted By: CrystalRiver
Date: Friday, 1-Mar-2019 20:56:04
www.rumormill.news/118392

https://www.lymedisease.org/brain-inflammation-lyme-jhu/

LYME SCI: When brain inflammation persists after Lyme disease treatment

Brain inflammation with Lyme disease
In a new study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have found evidence of chemical changes and widespread inflammation in the brains of patients with chronic symptoms following treatment for Lyme disease.

This Johns Hopkins (JH) study, published in Journal of Neuroinflammation, supports the experience of hundreds of thousands of patients who have tried for years to have their chronic symptoms of pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and cognitive impairment validated.

“What this study does is provide evidence that the brain fog in patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome has a physiological basis and isn’t just psychosomatic or related to depression or anxiety,” says John Aucott, M.D., a senior author of the new paper and director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center.

The fact is, too many patients with Lyme disease are left with chronic, debilitating symptoms following treatment for Lyme disease. In the nearly 40 years since the discovery of Lyme, no one has been able to determine why some patients get better with treatment and others remain ill.

The Study Participants
Thirty-one participants in the JH study were divided into two groups. One group consisted of 19 healthy controls, and the other had 12 patients with persistent symptoms lasting six months or more following “appropriate” treatment for Lyme disease. The study also refers to this group as having post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS).

The term PTLDS is controversial. One the one hand, it’s a term that specifically defines a group of patients for research purposes—people who were diagnosed early in the disease process, received a short course of treatment, and continued to have symptoms after treatment.

On the other hand, PTLDS implies that these patients received “appropriate” treatment and are no longer suffering from an infection.

In fact, no one knows what the appropriate duration of treatment for Lyme disease is, as evidenced by the high rate of treatment failure.

The JH study does not provide details on which “appropriate treatment” was previously administered to the patients they label as having PTLDS. The CDC currently recommends 10-21 days of oral antibiotics, but in a recently published study of Lyme arthritis from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, all patients had been treated with one-to-four months of oral antibiotics, followed by one month of IV ceftriaxone.

It would be informative to know which antibiotics these JH study participants received—and for how long—as that might provide a clue to the level of brain inflammation.

Notably, the patient sample was highly symptomatic on the SF-36 questionnaire (a standardized survey that measures quality of life.) Participates had average scores of 34.9 (A score of 50 is considered normal.) Each patient in this study reported fatigue and at least one cognitive symptom (difficulty finding words, difficulty concentrating or memory change).

The Brain Scans
In the JH study, all participants received a PET scan, which shows levels of inflammation throughout the brain. They were also given a radiographic tracer to highlight glial activation. Glia are specialized cells that operate between the immune system and the nervous system.

The researchers were surprised to find the PET scans revealed significantly higher levels of inflammation, across eight different regions of the brain, in the PTLDS patients as compared with controls. As you can see, in the photo below, it looks like the Lyme brains are on fire.

more at this link: https://www.lymedisease.org/brain-inflammation-lyme-jhu/

Many Blessings,
CrystalRiver





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