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The Lyme Disease Research Center at Columbia University

The Lyme Disease Research Center will use the vast resources of Columbia University in New York to address fundamental clinical and basic science questions that plague adults and children affected by Lyme disease (LD). While much is known about early Lyme disease, very little is known about chronic Lyme disease, despite its rising prevalence and disabling effects. These effects may include arthritis, cognitive loss, peripheral neuropathies, and debilitating fatigue. Rarely, LD may also cause strokes, blindness, severe psychiatric disorders, and multiple-sclerosis-like illnesses. Children may be home sick for months or years, missing the key academic and social influences so critical to healthy development.

Our clinical and research mission includes studies of new diagnostic tests, clinical phenomenology, immunopathogenesis, co-infections, genetic markers of vulnerability, functional and structural brain imaging, neuoropathology of post-mortem brains, and well-controlled studies of new treatments. This Center, the first such facility in the world devoted to chronic Lyme disease, will serve as a national resource, providing pilot grants to researchers nation-wide and focusing the latest scientific technology on helping to resolve the problems of chronic Lyme disease. Researchers at Columbia are now completing analysis on a 5 year NIH-funded study of the pathophysiologic effects of Lyme disease on the brain and whether a repeated longer course of IV antibiotic therapy helps to reverse the cognitive and physical dysfunction experienced by previously treated patients.

Brian A. Fallon, MD
Columbia University


I am writing with an urgent appeal concerning the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the US, reported in 49 states and the District of Columbia, and the most prevalent vector-borne bacterial disease in the world, Lyme disease. The CDC admits Lyme is vastly underreported nationally at almost 24,000 reported cases in 2002–representing about 240,000 actual cases that year, an astounding 40% increase over the prior year.

Lyme disease can be acquired in your own backyard. It often attacks more than one family member, with children a high risk. Risky behavior includes petting the dog, jogging or playing outdoors, golfing, and even bringing home a live Christmas tree. 10-15% of those with the Lyme bacteria progress to chronic Lyme disease. Other tick-borne diseases may result from the same tick bite.

Despite this staggering data, little monies are spent for research. Therefore, the Lyme Disease Association (LDA) and its affiliate, Time for Lyme (TFL*) have reached an agreement with Columbia University to fund an endowed Lyme disease research center at Columbia, the first in the world devoted to the study of chronic Lyme disease. LDA and TFL have jointly raised over $1.3 million out of $3 million required to fully open the center with a dedicated researcher, although some Lyme research using state-of-the-art brain scans is already underway. *Formerly Greenwich Lyme Disease Task Force

Don't let Lyme disease destroy your life and the lives of your family and friends. Help us open the Columbia Center by sending a tax-deductible contribution today. Together, we can fund the cure.

Patricia V. Smith
President, LDA

Diane Blanchard, Deb Siciliano
Co-Presidents, Time for Lyme

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On October 28, 2005, Dr. Brian Fallon from Columbia reported the preliminary results of his massive randomized clinically blind trial, on the use of antibiotics in chronic Lyme patients who were supposedly cured by past antibiotic treatment. These patients would not receive further treatment if the recommendations of many Lyme constrictive medical societies and boards were followed. Dr. Fallon's study and another study showed clear benefit with additional antibiotic treatment. Details of these studies will be eventually available from the Lyme Disease Association that videotaped this exceptional conference.

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Dr. Schaller strongly support donations to LDA.

Lyme Disease Association, Inc. - Donations

The LDA is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization that has raised over $2 million dollars for Lyme disease research, prevention, and education. The LDA has funded research projects from coast to coast and has had a number of its funded projects published in peer-reviewed literature. Here is a sample of their efforts and you can choose where you want your donation to go.

  • Columbia Lyme Disease Center Endowment Fund
  • Columbia Lyme & TBD Disease Research
  • In memoriam/In honor of John Drulle Memorial Research Fund
  • Lyme & Tick-borne Disease (TBD) Research
  • Lyme Disease Education
  • LymeAid 4 Kids
  • Other/General

Link for donations: www.lymediseaseassociation.org/Donations.html

Dr. Schaller is not in any way associated with LDA and has no conflicts of interest.

Simply, their research and work has helped to save thousands of lives, including family and friends of Dr. Schaller.



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