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Researcher Reveals Possible Lyme
& Multiple Sclerosis Connection

Known for her work in pathology and her extensive research in cell wall deficient bacteria, Lida H. Mattman, Ph.D., is rocking the medical community with her discoveries in Lyme disease and Multiple Sclerosis. On May 6th [1997] in Saginaw, Michigan, Mattman spoke to Lyme patients and medical professionals who were captivated by her slides and research findings on spirochetes.

Behind her self-deprecating humor is a dedicated researcher and pioneer in her field. Mattman, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biology, at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) is also a mother motivated by a daughter who was diagnosed with Lyme Disease (LD) a few years ago.

Since then, Mattman has focused her attention on how to find a more reliable and reproducible way of finding the infection -- in culturing the spirochete from blood samples. In the last year, she has found such a method; and in the process, has also identified another spirochete that could be the causative agent in Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

When asked at the meeting if MS is a spirochetal disease like LD, Mattman replied with an unequivocal "yes". She went on to show slides of the various diseases caused by different spirochetes - including MS. Each disease was characterized by a variety of disfiguring and debilitating symptoms - all of which, Mattman pointed out, were treatable with appropriate antibiotics. Dr. Mattman's new method of culturing the spirochete was featured at this year's 10th Annual International Conference at the NIH in Bethesda, MD. Viewed as one of the most important discoveries presented at the Poster Session, Mattman's technique may be a new Gold Standard for determining spirochetal infections and persistent disease.

Although her findings are compelling, Mattman feels she is up against skepticism in the medical community. Mattman feels this harkens back to other big breakthroughs, such as developing the vaccine for Whooping Cough and discovering the H. Pylori bacteria in ulcers. Because these discoveries challenged previous medical doctrine, the doctors were originally shunned for breaking away from "accepted facts".

Mattman is confident that it is only a matter of time before her research will be given credibility. In explaining why current testing for Lyme disease is unreliable, Mattman referred to the blood test using immuno-fluorescence assay (IFA). Here, she explains, the lab is looking for the antibody. It won't always be detected, because the spirochete can "masquerade" in other forms that delude the immune response.

Mattman explained that the spirochete, like other bacteria, is not always in its classic form - there is much diversity in its appearance. This "diversity" in appearance is what is known as the "L Form" of the bacteria (named after this research at Lister Institute). In learning to recognize the "L Form" bacteria, Mattman has been able to culture spirochetes abundantly and profusely.

For now, Dr. Mattman hopes the doctors will use a more reliable test other than IFA. She suggests using the POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION (PCR) test. This test picks up on the actual DNA of the spirochete. Mattman's lab has also worked for the University of Michigan, where she came face to face with L-forms of Meningitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). She emphasized that these also can be easily missed in the lab, because they are not always in the classic form with a "suit and bow tie".

Pointing to the screen, Mattman announced that we were the first audience to see a remarkable photo of Multiple Sclerosis spinal fluid mixed with red blood cells. The red blood cells on the screen were filled with many spirochetes that were also seen emerging from the red blood cells...

The spirochetes weren't only in the red blood cells, they PREFER the red blood cells. With this observation, Mattman feels that persistent infection could be attributed to the fact that antibiotics do not easily penetrate the red blood cell to target the spirochete.

Now that Dr. Mattman has been able to culture the spirochete, she is focusing on specific treatment. In recognizing that the spirochete can have numerous strains, she hopes to use cultured spirochetes for antibiotic sensitivity testing.

This is already widely used for other bacterial infections. With this procedure, Mattman could find which antibiotic would work best for the individual patient. From a clinical perspective, this knowledge would give the treating physician an important edge in prescribing an appropriate antibiotic.

Mattman concluded that Lyme disease is as endemic here as Malaria is in the Tropics. She is convinced that, with the introduction of more reliable testing for LD, the figures will more accurately reflect the prevalence."

This abstract is offered only to promote discussion on a wide range of medical topics. The content is entirely from:

NEWS ARTICLE from TICK TALK - May/June 1997, by Kim Weber


James Schaller, MD

For more information on the link between Lyme and Parkinson's symptoms go to: www.lymeinfo.net/multiplesclerosis.html.


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