Lyme Disease Causes Brain Inflammation
Which Leads to
Memory Trouble, Personality Disorders
and Anything Involving the Brain
A review of some chat rooms trashes every major physician treating tick infections regardless of their cost, treatment style or personality. This has hardly gone unnoticed by physicians treating the worst medically ill patients. Moreover, it has caused them to be very careful. It has caused many to retire or stop the treatment of Lyme, Babesia and Bartonella at all or aggressively.
Alice has an IQ of over 130. After getting some tick bites in the back yard of some relatives in New Jersey, she slowly had a decreased memory over a year. No one could find the cause. She was eventually diagnosed with Lyme by advanced 2010 medicine. Perhaps this sounds arrogant and prideful—it was not my patient.
Lynn was bitten by a few deer ticks and suddenly because hostile, angry and hateful. People were nice or devils. This was all subtle and hidden when she was with casual friends. It was clear to her spouse. "What happened to my nice wife?" Now she spends all her time on chat rooms and some of what she writes is a waste of time. She has better things to do! She writes bad things about the two physicians she went to see because they were very clear they did not take our insurance. What is going on! I want my sane, sweet and kind wife back."
Am J Med. 2009 Sep;122(9):843-50.
Psychiatric comorbidity and other psychological factors in patients with "chronic
Hassett AL, Radvanski DC, Buyske S, Savage SV, Sigal LH.
Division of Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Research, University of Medicine
and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ
08903-0019, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: There is no evidence of current or previous Borrelia burgdorferi
infection in most patients evaluated at university-based Lyme disease referral
centers. Instead, psychological factors likely exacerbate the persistent diffuse
symptoms or "Chronic Multisymptom Illness" (CMI) incorrectly ascribed to an
ongoing chronic infection with B. burgdorferi. The objective of this study was to
assess the medical and psychiatric status of such patients and compare these
findings to those from patients without CMI. METHODS: There were 240 consecutive
patients who underwent medical evaluation and were screened for clinical
disorders (eg, depression and anxiety) with diagnoses confirmed by structured
clinical interviews at an academic Lyme disease referral center in New Jersey.
Personality disorders, catastrophizing, and negative and positive affect also
were evaluated, and all factors were compared between groups and with functional
outcomes. RESULTS: Of our sample, 60.4% had symptoms that could not be explained
by current Lyme disease or another medical condition other than CMI. After
adjusting for age and sex, clinical disorders were more common in CMI than in the
comparison group (P <.001, odds ratio 3.54, 95% confidence interval, 1.97-6.55),
but personality disorders were not significantly more common. CMI patients had
higher negative affect, lower positive affect, and a greater tendency to
catastrophize pain (P <.001) than did the comparison group. Except for
personality disorders, all psychological factors were related to worse
functioning. Our explanatory model based on these factors was confirmed.
CONCLUSIONS: Psychiatric comorbidity and other psychological factors are
prominent in the presentation and outcome of some patients who inaccurately
ascribe longstanding symptoms to "chronic Lyme disease."
PMID: 19699380 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Dec 15;59(12):1742-9.
Role of psychiatric comorbidity in chronic Lyme disease.
Hassett AL, Radvanski DC, Buyske S, Savage SV, Gara M, Escobar JI, Sigal LH.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0019, USA. email@example.com
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence and role of psychiatric comorbidity and
other psychological factors in patients with chronic Lyme disease (CLD). METHODS:
We assessed 159 patients drawn from a cohort of 240 patients evaluated at an
academic Lyme disease referral center. Patients were screened for common axis I
psychiatric disorders (e.g., depressive and anxiety disorders); structured
clinical interviews confirmed diagnoses. Axis II personality disorders,
functional status, and traits like negative and positive affect and pain
catastrophizing were also evaluated. A physician blind to psychiatric assessment
results performed a medical evaluation. Two groups of CLD patients (those with
post-Lyme disease syndrome and those with medically unexplained symptoms
attributed to Lyme disease but without Borrelia burgdorferi infection) were
compared with 2 groups of patients without CLD (patients recovered from Lyme
disease and those with an identifiable medical condition explaining symptoms
attributed to Lyme disease). RESULTS: After adjusting for age and sex, axis I
psychiatric disorders were more common in CLD patients than in comparison
patients (P = 0.02, odds ratio 2.64, 95% confidence interval 1.30-5.35), but
personality disorders were not. Patients with CLD had higher negative affect,
lower positive affect, and a greater tendency to catastrophize pain (P < 0.001)
than comparison patients. All psychological factors except personality disorders
were related to level of functioning. A predictive model based on these
psychological variables was confirmed. Fibromyalgia was diagnosed in 46.8% of CLD
patients. CONCLUSION: Psychiatric comorbidity and other psychological factors
distinguished CLD patients from other patients commonly seen in Lyme disease
referral centers, and were related to poor functional outcomes.
PMID: 19035409 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
MMW Fortschr Med. 2006 Nov 9;148(45):8.
[Neuroborreliosis or borrelia hysteria. This case becomes a nightmare!]
[Article in German]
Universitätsklinik, für Dermatologie, Medizinische Universität Graz, Auenmbrugger
Platz 8, A-8036 Graz, Osterreich.
PMID: 17615738 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Neurology. 2003 Jun 24;60(12):1916-22.
Cognitive function in post-treatment Lyme disease: do additional antibiotics
Kaplan RF, Trevino RP, Johnson GM, Levy L, Dornbush R, Hu LT, Evans J, Weinstein
A, Schmid CH, Klempner MS.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, USA.
Neurology. 2003 Jun 24;60(12):1888-9.
BACKGROUND: It is controversial whether additional antibiotic treatment will
improve cognitive function in patients with post-treatment chronic Lyme disease
(PTCLD). OBJECTIVE: To determine whether antibiotic therapy improves cognitive
function in two randomized double-blind placebo-controlled studies of patients
with PTCLD. METHODS: A total of 129 patients with a physician-documented history
of Lyme disease from three study sites in the northeast United States were
studied. Seventy-eight were seropositive for IgG antibodies against Borrelia
burgdorferi, and 51 were seronegative. Patients in each group were randomly
assigned to receive IV ceftriaxone 2 g daily for 30 days followed by oral
doxycycline 200 mg daily for 60 days or matching IV and oral placebos.
Assessments were made at 90 and 180 days after treatment. Symptom severity was
measured from the cognitive functioning, pain, and role functioning scales of the
Medical Outcomes Study (MOS). Memory, attention, and executive functioning were
assessed using objective tests. Mood was assessed using the Beck Depression
Inventory and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. RESULTS: There were no
significant baseline differences between seropositive and seronegative groups.
Both groups reported a high frequency of MOS symptoms, depression, and somatic
complaints but had normal baseline neuropsychological test scores. The combined
groups showed significant decreases in MOS symptoms, higher objective test
scores, and improved mood between baseline and 90 days. However, there were no
significant differences between those receiving antibiotics and placebo.
CONCLUSION: Patients with post-treatment chronic Lyme disease who have symptoms
but show no evidence of persisting Borrelia infection do not show objective
evidence of cognitive impairment. Additional antibiotic therapy was not more
beneficial than administering placebo.
PMID: 12821733 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2001 Fall;13(4):500-7.
A controlled study of cognitive deficits in children with chronic Lyme disease.
Tager FA, Fallon BA, Keilp J, Rissenberg M, Jones CR, Liebowitz MR.
Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Medicine,
New York, New York 10032, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Although neurologic Lyme disease is known to cause cognitive dysfunction in
adults, little is known about its long-term sequelae in children. Twenty children
with a history of new-onset cognitive complaints after Lyme disease were compared
with 20 matched healthy control subjects. Each child was assessed with measures
of cognition and psychopathology. Children with Lyme disease had significantly
more cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. Cognitive deficits were still found
after controlling for anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Lyme disease in children
may be accompanied by long-term neuropsychiatric disturbances, resulting in
psychosocial and academic impairments. Areas for further study are discussed.
PMID: 11748319 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Soc Sci Med. 2000 Sep;51(5):657-68.
Concepts of trust among patients with serious illness.
Mechanic D, Meyer S.
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.
This paper examines conceptions of trust among three groups of respondents
diagnosed with either breast cancer, Lyme disease or mental illness. Interviews
were carried out using an open-ended interview guide to explore how patients made
assessments of trust in their doctors and health care plans. The guide followed a
conceptual approach that asked questions about competence, agency/fiduciary
responsibility, control, disclosure and confidentiality. Respondents were given
ample opportunity to raise other areas of concern. The data were organized using
the NUDIST software package for the analysis of non-numerical and unstructured
qualitative data. Patients viewed trust as an iterative process and commonly
tested their physicians against their knowledge and expectations. Interpersonal
competence, involving caring, concern and compassion, was the most common aspect
of trust reported, with listening as a central focus. Most patient comments
referred to learnable skills and not simply to personality characteristics.
Technical competence also received high priority but was often assessed by
reputation or interpersonal cues. Patients were much concerned that doctors be
their agents and fight for their interests with health care plans. Disclosure and
confidentiality were less common concerns; most patients anticipated that doctors
would be honest with them and respect their confidences. Patients' responses also
appeared to vary by their disease, their socio-demographic characteristics, their
involvement with self-help groups, and how their illness conditions unfolded.
PMID: 10975226 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Appl Neuropsychol. 1999;6(1):3-11.
Neuropsychological deficits in Lyme disease patients with and without other
evidence of central nervous system pathology.
Kaplan RF, Jones-Woodward L, Workman K, Steere AC, Logigian EL, Meadows ME.
Department of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston,
A small percentage of Lyme patients develop mild to moderate encephalopathic
symptoms months to years after diagnosis and treatment. Their symptoms typically
include fatigue, memory loss, sleep disturbance, and depression. However, the
etiology of this syndrome remains controversial. It is generally thought that
Lyme patients with abnormal cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) have a neurological basis
to their illness. To further examine this question, we compared Lyme patients
with evidence of abnormal CSF, intrathecal antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi,
elevated protein, or a positive polymerase chain reaction for B. burgdorferi DNA
(n = 14); Lyme patients with normal CSF (n = 18); and healthy controls (n = 15)
on a battery of neuropsychological and personality tests. Although both Lyme
groups reported memory problems, only the Lyme group with abnormal CSF had
measurable memory deficits. Both Lyme groups had higher depression scores than
the normal control group, although depression was not correlated with memory
scores. It appears that Lyme patients with abnormal CSF may have a neurological
basis to their illness, whereas affective symptoms, common to many chronic
disorders, may predispose other Lyme patients to the perception of cognitive
PMID: 10382565 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
J Clin Psychiatry. 1996 Jul;57(7):282-6.
Memory functioning in Lyme borreliosis.
Ravdin LD, Hilton E, Primeau M, Clements C, Barr WB.
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Long Island Jewish
Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND: To objectively measure memory functioning in patients with Lyme
borreliosis and examine the relationship between subjective reports of memory
dysfunction and actual impairment. METHOD: A prospective pretreatment study of
patients with Lyme borreliosis (N = 21), a patient control group (osteomyelitis,
N = 21), and healthy controls (N = 21) was conducted by using tests of verbal
memory functioning (California Verbal Learning Test) and self-reported depression
(Beck Depression Inventory-Cognitive Index), fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale),
and subjective ratings of memory abilities (Self-Rating Scale of Memory
Functions). RESULTS: Patients with Lyme borreliosis performed worse than healthy
controls on verbal memory testing, but did not perform significantly differently
from patient controls. Lyme borreliosis patients reported increased fatigue,
which was correlated with poorer memory performance. Although the Lyme
borreliosis patients rated their memory as more impaired, subjective complaints
were not correlated with objective memory scores. CONCLUSION: These findings
suggest impaired memory performance is not specific to Lyme borreliosis and may
be a result of evaluating cognitive functioning in patients with physical illness
and somatic complaints. Fatigue is a prominent presenting complaint in patients
with Lyme borreliosis and needs to be controlled for since it is known to
influence neuropsychological performance. Subjective complaints are not
correlated with objective memory assessment, so self-report of memory impairment
should not be the criterion for inclusion in studies investigating cognitive
manifestations of Lyme borreliosis.
PMID: 8666568 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Neurology. 1992 Jul;42(7):1263-7.
Memory impairment and depression in patients with Lyme encephalopathy: comparison
with fibromyalgia and nonpsychotically depressed patients.
Kaplan RF, Meadows ME, Vincent LC, Logigian EL, Steere AC.
Department of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine, New England Medical
Center, Boston, MA 02111.
Lyme encephalopathy, primarily manifested by disturbances in memory, mood, and
sleep, is a common late neurologic manifestation of Lyme disease. We compared 20
patients with Lyme encephalopathy with 11 fibromyalgia patients and 11
nonpsychotically depressed patients using the California Verbal Learning Test,
Wechsler Memory Scale, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory (MMPI), and Beck Depression Inventory. Compared with
patients with fibromyalgia or depression, the Lyme encephalopathy group showed
mild, but statistically significant, memory deficits on two of the three memory
tests. In contrast, the patients with fibromyalgia scored significantly higher
than both other groups on the MMPI scale most sensitive to somatic concerns
(scale 1), while the depressed patients scored higher than the Lyme patients on
the scales most sensitive to depression (scale 2) and anxiety (scale 7). Physical
complaints and depression were not major factors in memory performance among Lyme
patients. These data support the hypothesis that Lyme encephalopathy is caused by
CNS dysfunction and cannot be explained as a psychological response to chronic
PMID: 1620329 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Nervenarzt. 1989 Feb;60(2):115-9.
[Borrelia encephalitis and catatonia in adolescence]
[Article in German]
Neumärker KJ, Dudeck U, Plaza P.
Abteilung für Psychiatrie und Neurologie des Kindes- und Jugendalters,
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
PMID: 2716930 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]