'Lyme Rage': Can Lyme Disease Affect Your Personality?
Roaming Ticks Can Carry Disease Linked to Physical Problems, Mental Madness
By ELISABETH LEAMY, JOSH GAYNOR and LEE FERRAN
July 30, 2009
They're tiny insects that can cause big problems. A rise in the number of ticks this year has infectious disease experts focused on the best way to treat the Lyme disease that the little buggers can spread.
Some 20,000 Americans are infected and treated every year, but countless others go undiagnosed. The illness has symptoms that include fever, fatigue and headaches, but if left untreated, Lyme disease can be more serious.
While there are physical symptoms of the disease that can include severe headaches, severe joint pain and even numbness in the hands or feet, many experts believe Lyme disease can rewire the human brain and affect personality.
"I'm convinced that Lyme in a chronic form can affect psychiatric issues, neurological issues and you can have neurological problems," New York epidemiologist Dr. Daniel Cameron said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes that up to 5 percent of patients "may develop chronic neurological complaints months to years after infection."
Lyme disease patient Kelly Kulesz told "Good Morning America" she saw herself change overnight because of her infection.
"They put me on stage fright medications," Kulesz said. "Doctors thought it was obsessive compulsive disorder, but it's just not."
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE, AND NOT JUST THIS SNIPPET, GO TO: abcnews.go.com
THIS WEB SITE ALSO DISCUSSES THIS ISSUE IN MUCH DETAIL