May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Listen to Lyme Experts Share Highlights from ILADS 2018 Conference
May is lyme disease awareness month. The CDC estimates that over 300 thousand people in US are diagnosed with lyme disease each year. It is one of the fastest growing vector borne infectious diseases in the US and western Europe as well as other countries. According to a recent report, New York’s Democratic senator Sen. Charles Schumer shared that the federal government passed $900 million recently fighting tick, mosquito and flea illnesses in the Lower Hudson Valley. A study published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Report states that CDC recorded 96,075 cases of sickness from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas in 2016 compared to 27,388 in 2004.
A multi-systemic illness, lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, a complex microbe known as a spirochete. If left untreated it can become severely debilitating, and can affect multiple organs, including the central nervous system, joints, heart and brain.
Lyme disease specialists Dr. Kenneth Leigner, Dr. Samuel Shor, Dr. Thomas Moorcraft and Dr. Leo J. Shea III shared invaluable information about Lyme disease on CureTalks. They also talked about new advancements in its diagnosis and management that was discussed at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases (ILADS) conference 2018.
LISTEN to the full talk below:
ILADS is an important conference bringing together leading physicians, scientists, and others with expertise in tick-borne diseases to share important research updates, and other evidence-based clinical data with their peers.
This talk was organised in association with the Global Lyme Alliance.
Here are a few highlights from the talk:
- A lot of research work on lyme is still in-vitro is funded by private organization as the Global Lyme Alliance.
- There is dearth of formal government sponsored/funded trials of different treatment methods.
- Borrelia infection completely disrupts the normal architecture of the lymph nodes, disturbing the normal development of the immune response.
- Bartonella is a co-infection of Lyme disease, but all drugs that work for lyme do not work for Bartonella.
- Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses are family illness and not an individual illness. At the same time it is a variable disease.
- Lyme disease may have cognitive, emotional, and behavioral manifestations.
- If referred to a psychiatrist, patients should see a lyme literate psychiatrist who has the understanding of the organicity of Borrelia burgdorferi or the other tick Borne illnesses
- Insomnia is a common problem in lyme patients.
- Persister cells may be the reason behind the chronic nature of Borrelia infection. Artemisinin from Artemisia has been shown to affect persister cells in in vitro tests.
- Whether Lyme disease patients can donate organs or can lyme be sexually transmitted is a controversial issue. Evidence from research in non-human primates shows that infection persists even after antibiotic treatment. Dr Leigner thinks it is unwise for lyme patients to donate organs.
- Patients with lyme disease accumulate heavy metals at a much higher rate. Heavy metals suppress immune function.
- Research is under way on vaccine made from the saliva of the tick, which may have the potential of a broad spectrum response.