Dr James Schaller
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Schaller Trip to Tampa Suburbs--Deer and Lyme

I just came back from a trip to North Tampa and lower Pasco County, and was stunned to see in many suburban developments deer footprints and deer droppings in areas where little children play. I asked some parents what they made of the markings in the sand or dirt... Only one said, "Gee, I guess that must be a deer or a goat?" We are talking about smart folks. I am not making fun of them.

Unfortunately, if one of these children gets a deer tick, it will be missed. The deer tick is as small as a poppy seed and not as dark, and is almost always missed by all but Superman's super vision. Those infected with a painless nick will usually have some aches, perhaps a cold and be a little irritable. In a couple weeks they will have the Lyme spirochetes in their brain, eyes and heart. But the CDC would say I am being too serious about Lyme. Of course it almost killed my children as I followed parts of the CDC's approach and the position of Infectious Disease societies--groups who should be ashamed at their shoddy approach to research and their useless clinical discernment. Their approach sent many friends and relatives to hospitals to almost die and lost them years. When I applied the ILADS progressive approaches, and used tick specialty labs that are not useless lab mills running thousands of diverse tests, I found that clinical symptoms matched the labs.

So unless you live close to the water coasts west of Tampa, do not assume you or your child will escape Lyme. I will be opening a second office in Tampa, and if you ever find that you want someone from another approach, give us a call. We will not tell you that you are nuts because it does not fit with what the last five drug reps "taught us."

Some Comments From Columbia

Neuropsychiatric Problems in Children

As noted among adults, when Lyme disease is treated early in children, few children develop long-term problems. When Lyme disease is not treated until later in the course of the illness, the clinical manifestations may be more neuropsychiatric and the response to treatment less robust. In a large series of children with Lyme disease referred to a pediatric neurologist (Belman et al), headaches were the most commonly reported symptom. The second most common symptom were disturbances of behavior and mood. MRI abnormalities may be seen in some children following Lyme infection, located predominantly in the deep white matter, which is consistent with reports of MRI lesions seen in adults with neuroborreliosis. These findings are similar to the MRI findings of children with parainfectious or postinfectious acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Children in particular may appear to have "pseudo-tumor cerebri" because of an elevated opening pressure at lumbar puncture. Complex partial seizures may also occur more commonly among children with neurologic Lyme Disease than among adults. Like adults, these children may appear to have chronic fatigue syndrome due to an extraordinary capacity for prolonged sleep at night and need for naps during the day.

Cognitive. In a study by Adams et al, children with relatively early manifestations of Lyme Disease appropriately treated with antibiotics were found to have an excellent prognosis for short-term and long-term (4 years) unimpaired cognitive functioning. In contrast, a study by Bloom et al reported on an evaluation of 86 children for possible late manifestations of lyme disease, 12 of whom had neurocognitive symptoms thought to be related to Lyme infection. Of these 12, 5 had past or present B. burgdorferi infection in serum and CSF and had developed neurocognitive symptoms either at the time of onset of Lyme infection or months after classic manifestations of the disease. The most prevalent neurocognitive symptoms were behavioral changes, forgetfulness, declining school performance, headache and fatigue. Two of these children had developed complex partial seizures. A comprehensive neuropsychological battery revealed that these children had normal intellectual functioning, but particular deficits related to auditory or visual sequential processing. These deficits, as well as many other symptoms, gradually improved following ceftriaxone therapy, although two of the children continued to have auditory sequential processing deficits.

A controlled study by Dr. Tager at our Lyme Disease Research Program, reported at the 1999 VIII International Lyme Disease Conference in Munich Germany, revealed that chronic Lyme Disease in children may be accompanied by cognitive and psychiatric disturbances, resulting in significant impairment in psychosocial and academic functioning. The most prominent cognitive problems involved the domains of attention and learning specifically related to perceptual/organizational abilities, visual scanning, and sequential tracking.

Psychiatric. Two studies from different institutions found that children with Lyme Disease may develop late problems with visual and auditory attention. These children may be mistakenly diagnosed as having primary attention deficit disorder as opposed to attentional deficits secondary to a systemic infection. Other findings in children include new onset phobias (e.g., fear of the dark, separation anxiety), depression, listlessness and irritability, oppositional behavior, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and/or Tourettes Disorder.

For more information about Columbia research go to: http"//www.columbia-lyme.org/flatp/lymeoverview.html#child

Lyme Disease is transmitted by a Deer Tick. Do you think you would see this easily?

A Deer Tick

Hey, Florida, do you really think you want to bet your child's life on your eyes catching this as they play, run, jump and slide around? Oh, by the way, Lyme is also carried by other insects...

Dr. J

Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
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