Lyme Disease: Brain Dysfunction And Neurological Disorders
Research and Innovations Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a genetically diverse group of spiral shaped bacteria (spirochaetes) called Borrelia, a cousin to the syphilis and gum disease causing Treponema bacteria.
Early symptoms may involve a rash that can take many forms (research indicates that fewer than 50 percent get any rash at all, and of those that do, only nine percent have the more commonly expected “bull’s eye” form). Flu-like symptoms when no one else in the area is getting the flu is significant. Many do not get early symptoms.
Unfortunately, Canadian lab tests looking for the disease in humans can confirm only one strain of one species of Borrelia, leaving thousands of false negative results over many years, which pushed diagnoses in the wrong direction. Doctors are under-educated, and hampered by guidelines written with input denied to the victim’s experts. That must change.
"Lyme disease can cause many symptoms in humans because it can affect every system of the body, so symptoms may be a combination of heart problems, muscle weakness, pain, spasms, tics and muscle wasting or arthritic problems."
The most common vectors of the disease to humans are various Ixodes tick species. The ticks are transplanted randomly Canada-wide by our migratory birds, including robins, wrens, sparrows, and other passerine birds in the tens of millions each season, from the southern Lyme endemic areas. Birds can harbour the disease in their blood infecting new ticks. If you have robins in the spring, you potentially have Lyme disease in your backyard. These ticks then infect the mice, squirrels and other rodents, establishing the disease in your area.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Lyme disease can cause many symptoms in humans because it can affect every system of the body, so symptoms may be a combination of heart problems, muscle weakness, pain, spasms, tics, and muscle wasting or arthritic problems. It can cause paresthesias and tingling or occasionally a Bell’s palsy of the face, bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction, as well as eyesight issues from floaters, sparkles, wavy and blurred vision, to blindness. Headaches can occur from mild to severe. Fatigue can be overwhelming.
Brain dysfunction is seen in almost all chronic Lyme disease, and can be progressive in some. Short term memory issues, word recall, anger, a feeling of disconnect with your sense of self, personality change, and depression are not uncommon but these usually resolve with an extended course of antibiotics.
However, untreated or inadequately treated Lyme disease may have ramifications in later development of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Dr. Judith Miklossy has extensively researched the relationship between spirochaetal bacteria and dementia’s like AD. Not only has she and other researchers demonstrated that spirochaetal bacteria are present in up to 90 percent of AD brains they examined, she has shown that introducing Lyme bacteria to healthy brain tissue causes the same deadly plaques to form that destroy brain tissue in AD.
Her chapter in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 2008, (3rd series), Dementias, titled, “Biology and neuropathology of dementia in syphilis and Lyme disease references” makes for a very interesting, well referenced read and is easily accessed on the internet. Dr. Judith Miklossy sat on the board of directors of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation for six years until she returned to Switzerland.