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It is very surprising that even the conservative textbook by Reik on neurology and Lyme disease, discusses that this spiral shaped bacteria can cause massive damage to the brain, and sometimes quickly. This damage which occurs soon after a bite or many years later, does not even address the help Lyme disease gets from other co-infections common in ticks like Bartonella and Babesia.

I recently heard of a young women who is slowly dying and is now having uncontrolled seizures, fibromyalgia and an inability to walk. She has had massive work ups, and she has not even been given a poor diagnosis. They found Lyme in her spinal fluid and ignored it! They actually think this is common and trivial.

Related Articles, Links

[Lymphadenopathy and absences]

[Article in German]

Staub E, Strozzi S, Aebi C.

Medizinische Poliklinik, UniversitŠtskinderklinik, Inselspital Bern.

A 6-year-old boy presented with deterioration of general well-being during several weeks, headache and swelling of lymph nodes in the neck. In addition, the parents reported brief episodes resembling typical absence seizures. Serological tests and the examination of cerebrospinal fluid revealed neuroborreliosis. At the same time, electroencephalography showed characteristic patterns of absence epilepsy. The boy's condition improved rapidly during a 2-week course of intravenous ceftriaxone and after initiation of antiepileptic therapy. To our knowledge, absence epilepsy has not previously been reported in association with neuroborreliosis. We consider the two conditions to be coincidental.

Publication Types:
PMID: 17566418 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Clinical and serological characteristics of progressive facial hemiatrophy: a case series of 12 patients.

Sommer A, Gambichler T, Bacharach-Buhles M, von Rothenburg T, Altmeyer P, Kreuter A.

Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

BACKGROUND: Progressive facial hemiatrophy (PFH) is characterized by a slowly progressive atrophy of soft tissues and in some cases bony structures. Coexisting features of localized scleroderma (LS) are commonly observed, indicating the close nature of both disorders. OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate clinical, serological, and radiographic findings in PFH from 278 patients with LS and to discuss the relationship to linear scleroderma en coup de sabre (LSCS). METHOD: A total of 12 patients with PFH were retrospectively evaluated on the basis of clinical, serological, and radiographic findings. RESULTS: Five patients (42%) presented with complete PFH, and 7 patients (58%) with partial PFH involving either cheek or forehead. Five of the patients (42%) had a coexisting LSCS lesion, and 3 of them (25%) had concomitant LS of the trunk. Intraoral involvement was present in 6 cases. Neurological involvement was common, in particular, epileptic seizures. Serologic investigations showed neither evidence for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi nor any other indication of underlying systemic immunological disorders. LIMITATIONS: There were a relatively small number of patients in a retrospective study. CONCLUSION: The reported cases suggest a close relationship between PFH and LSCS. PFH might appear as two different subtypes, one involving cutaneous structures and presenting with clinical features similar to LSCS, one being strictly restricted to subcutaneous structures, primarily affecting the cheek area. The manifold clinical features of central nervous system involvement indicate the pathogenetic importance of neurological involvement in the development of PFH. Magnetic resonance imaging should be included in the tools of standard diagnostic procedures in patients with PFH. The etiologic relevance of autoimmunity as well as preceding trauma should be investigated in larger collective studies.

PMID: 16443052 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Neurosyphilis in a young adult: very early tertiary syphilis?

Sabbatani S, Manfredi R, Chiodo F.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Bologna Alma Mater Studiorum, S. Orsola Hospital, Via Massarenti II, 1-40138 Bologna, Italy.

A rare episode of early neurosyphilis occurred in a 34-year-old, otherwise healthy, woman. Based on an isolated positive Borrelia burgdorferi serology (later interpreted as a cross-reaction), early ceftriaxone was initiated, in the suspect of Lyme borreliosis. Even after the diagnosis was corrected into that of a neurosyphilis, ceftriaxone administration was continued, until it achieved complete clinical and microbiological success after 24 days of treatment in a day-hospital setting, and three-weekly penicillin administrations. When considering the differential diagnosis, a luetic aetiology should not be underestimated when facing young patients with signs-symptoms of a meningoencephalitis. Our case report was characterized by an extremely low patient's age, compared with the occurrence of tertiary neurosyphilis, more than three years after the last sexual contacts. The diagnosis was confirmed by highly positive treponemal and non-treponemal serum and cerebrospinal fluid serology, and several suggestive clinical manifestations: seizures, altered mentation, cognitive impairment, lip drop, and anisochoria. These concomitant findings, together with a neuroradiological report indicating a diffuse meningoencephalitis, allowed us to confirm the diagnosis of neurosyphilis, together with a demonstrated cross-reaction of B. burgdorferi serology. Although ceftriaxone benefits from its once-daily administration (and can be easily delivered on outpatient basis), it is not the firstline treatment of neurosyphilis. However, our experience demonstrated a favourable and rapid response to ceftriaxone, in the absence of toxicity and disease sequelae.

Publication Types:
PMID: 16336771 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Inflammatory brain changes in Lyme borreliosis. A report on three patients and review of literature.

Oksi J, Kalimo H, Marttila RJ, MarjamŠki M, Sonninen P, Nikoskelainen J, Viljanen MK.

Department of Internal Medicine, Turku University Central Hospital, Finland.

Despite a rapid increase in the number of patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB), its neuropathological aspects are poorly understood. The objective of this study was evaluation of neuropathological, microbiological, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in three patients with the Borrelia burgdorferi infection and neurological disease from whom brain tissue specimens were available. Perivascular or vasculitic lymphocytic inflammation was detected in all specimens. Large areas of demyelination in periventricular white matter were detected histologically and by MRI in one patient. The disease had a fatal outcome in this patient. Brain MRI suggested malignancies in two patients before histopathological studies were carried out. One of these two patients was a child with sudden hemiparesis. Another was a 40-year-old man presenting with epileptic seizures and MRI-detected multifocal lesions, which disappeared after repeated courses of antibiotics. We conclude that cerebral lymphocytic vasculitis and multifocal encephalitis may be associated with B. burgdorferi infection. The presence of B. burgdorferi DNA in tissue samples from areas with inflammatory changes indicates that direct invasion of B. burgdorferi may be the pathogenetic mechanism for focal encephalitis in LNB.

Publication Types:
PMID: 9010017 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Neurologic abnormalities in two dogs suspected Lyme disease.

Azuma Y, Kawamura K, Isogai H, Isogai E.

Monami Animal Clinic, Hokkaido, Japan.

A 2-year-old mongrel dog developed neurological signs following tick bite. These included astasia, persistent tonic convulsions and hyper-reflexia. Both serum IgG and IgM antibody titers against Borrelia burgdorferi were positive in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The neurological signs subsided after high-dose penicillin and streptomycin treatment. A strain of spirochetes (P427a) was isolated from the midgut of Ixodes persulcatus feeding on the dog. Morphological characteristic, immunological property and protein profile revealed that the isolate was B. burgdorferi. Similarly, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever dog developed neurological signs after tick bite and showed a positive IgG antibody titer against B. burgdorferi. Antibiotic treatment was effective also in this case. These findings suggest that neurological symptoms shown in both dogs were caused by infection with B. burgdorferi.

Publication Types:
PMID: 8350773 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Epilepsy disclosing neuroborreliosis]

[Article in French]

Mourin S, Bonnier C, Bigaignon G, Lyon G.

Service de Neurologie PŽdiatrique, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles.

After two seizures, a 13 year-old boy experienced headache, fatigue and loss of appetite over a period of 3 weeks. There was a bilateral papilledema with normal visual acuity. CT and MRI disclosed two ischemic foci, that were interpreted as evidence of vasculitis. High serum levels of IgG and IgM antibodies specific to Borrelia burgdorferi, were present. The patient had attended an outdoor scout camp in a area, in south-east Belgium, known to be endemic for tick-born borreliosis. The clinical symptoms, the levels of the specific antibodies and the radiologic abnormalities responded dramatically to treatment. We believe that seizures in this case were related to cerebral vasculitis. This case confirms the extreme diversity of the neurological manifestations of Borreliosis.

Publication Types:
PMID: 8009148 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Positive anti-Borrelia antibodies in patients with clinical manifestations compatible with neuroborreliosis]

[Article in Spanish]

Izquierdo G, Aguilar J, Barranquero A, Navarro G, Borobio MV, Angulo S, Dom’nguez I, Quesada MA.

Servicio de Neurolog’a, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Macarena, Sevilla.

The clinical features of 19 patients with neurological manifestations unexplained by another disease and positive serology for Borrelia burgdorferi were studied. ECM was present in only 11% of the cases and 32% referred tick bite. The characteristic features for suspicion of NB according to our series was the presence of polyneuritis in 84% of the cases specially in the form of multiple mononeuritis and involvement of the facial nerve (79%) leading to even greater suspicion with the association of V pair involvement. Seizures, sleep disorders, and higher mental dysfunction may be found in association with other more characteristic neurological features. The typical triad of NB (aseptic meningitis, facial paralysis and polyradiculoneuritis) was found in 21% of the patients and in the absence of another disease to justify the same neuroborreliosis (NB) seemed evident. In all the cases components of this triad were found. Headache, arthralgia, fever and, less frequently, arthritis are other symptoms often past with the presence of anti-BB antibodies. Patients with the shortest evolution most frequently presented antecedents of facial paralysis, sensory alterations and Romberg's sign than patients of longer evolution. CSF demonstrated the presence of pleocytosis in 24% of the cases and in only one patient a slight increase in the intrathecal activity of IgG was observed which may be of use in differential diagnosis with MS. MR showed alterations in 61% of the patients and, while not specific, the lesions present subcortical predominance.

Publication Types:
PMID: 1610600 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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