Neurologic Lyme

Neurological complications most often occur in the second stage of Lyme disease, with numbness, pain, weakness, Bell's palsy (paralysis of the facial muscles), visual disturbances, and meningitis symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, and severe headache. Other problems, which may not appear until weeks, months, or years after a tick bite, include decreased concentration, irritability, memory and sleep disorders, stroke, and nerve damage in the arms and legs.


Dysauntonomia, Biotoxins, and Lyme


I have a long term lyme patient who has recovered from most of her lyme symptoms with the exception of intermittent hypo tension 80/40 with  pulse in the 40’s known as autonomic insufficiency or pots or dysautonomia.  For years when she has a lyme flare she will experience strabismus.  I am convinced that ocular damage is from the lyme and is part of the etiology for her flares as well as the  dysautonomia. None the less researching this subject quickly makes one realize that it is complex with many suspected etiologies.  I have started her on florinef .1 mg for now.  So anyone have any other pearls of wisdom?  She has been on cortef for years low dose.  Her endocrinologist did not check with me and also put her on cortef so she got a 30 mg dose for a month or so, of course she felt great.   I have had her consult with a cardiologist, endocrinologist as well as neurologist.  They just kind of threw up their hands especially with a ” lyme dx” in the mixture.  I will consult next week again with her neurologist in an effort  to co-manage this case but may get left holding the bag as I usually do in  trying to treat lyme patients.   Anyway I would appreciate tips on treating this common problem with our lyme patients. [Read more…]


Conversation with Eric Gordon, M.D. on Transmission and Treatment Issues

Dr. Gordon spent some time in conversation to cover some of the remaining patient questions from the conference with Dr. Burrascano. The following is a transcript from that conversation. The second part of the talk will be posted later this week.

Initial questions:

Can Lyme or co-infections be transmitted thru sex or kissing?

 Please address whether Lyme is an STD?

 Can it be transmitted from an adult to young children during normal care giving?

 What do you think about the possibility of sexual transmission or other TBD? [Read more…]


Can Treatment Damage Hearing?


Could you speak to Ototoxicity (toxicity to the auditory nerves) of the antibiotics used to treat Lyme?  My neurologist cannot tell if hearing loss is caused by Lyme or antibiotic use.

Dr. Eric GordonAnswer from Dr. Eric Gordon:

If ototoxicity is present, I do not know how to be sure if it is due to antibiotics versus infection of the 8th cranial nerve.  Not all antibiotics are considered ototoxic, and even those that are will not cause problems for every patient. The toxicity from antibiotics is probably mediated by oxidant stress, and this may also be the cause of some of the damage by infection, as well.  Individuals have varying ability to manage oxidative stress. With that in mind, checking glutathione adequacy, methylation pathway tests  from Vitamin Diagnostics Labs (special testing, have your physician contact the lab), as well as evaluating the other detox pathways and your heavy metal burden would be helpful.  All of these problems will make ototoxicity more likely whatever the stressor of the system.  Treatment of these metabolic problems will often improve ototoxicity.

I would also get a good evaluation by a cranial osteopath.  Occasionally osteopathic cranial manipulation will mitigate some of the tinnitus.

Consult your physician for a more complete workup of your toxic load in order to support your ability to deal with any toxicity, as well as the infection.

Dr. Eric Gordon is the founder of  Gordon Medical Associates. What Dr. Gordon emphasizes is listening to his patients. “I believe my patients. Their description of what is going on in their body is the most accurate way we have to assess what is going on with them. I interpret the information they present, and blend it with laboratory results and imaging and other tests to determine a protocol that is customized to their condition.”


Still Have Symptoms After Treatment for Babesia

Question: With a history of dysnomia related to babesia, although the babesia may be gone, I still have Neurally Mediated Hypotension, high BP (blood pressure), POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia), temperature problems, sleep off and on, it often takes until 5 AM to fall asleep, 8 years post-function adrenal collapse.  Please explain the physiological dynamics of what is going wrong with the autonomic nervous system and the hypo-pituitary adrenal system.

Answer from GMA Staff:

We have written about factors predisposing to infection, the “total load” and the cycle of maladaptive responses that can follow Lyme and tick-borne diseases.  In fact, these problems also are common among chronic fatigue (syndrome or not) patients, people suffering from long-term stress and others who are chronically-ill.

Our writer comments that after the infection has been treated, his (let’s assume) adrenal, autonomic, and other symptoms persist. [Read more…]


Neurologic Lyme Disease

The following question and answer are from two Lyme researchers who represent points of view in a Point/Counterpoint discussion. To read the complete article click on the links provided.

Question: How will research on neurologic Lyme disease need to change to to identify better treatments?

Dr. John HalperinAnswer from Dr. John Halperin:

Distinguish Between Clinical Constructs

Four clinical constructs are commonly attributed to nervous system Lyme disease, but only one of these represents nervous system infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, also known as neuroborrelliosis. However, there are legitimate and important research questions regarding each of the four.

Neuroborrelliosis manifests as lymphocytic meningitis, multifocal inflammation of nerves and nerve roots, and – very rarely- multifocal inflammation of the central nervous system. …

to read the complete article click here

Dr. Halperin is a professor of neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and is chair of the department of neurosciences at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey.  He has served as expert witness defending physicians accused of failure to diagnose nervous system Lyme disease.

How will research on neurologic Lyme disease need to change to to identify better treatments?

Dr. Brian FallonAnswer from Dr. Brian Fallon:

Although progress has been made in our  understanding of  neurologic Lyme disease, important questions and unmet needs remain, particularly with respect to diagnostic tests and the cause and treatment of chronic sequale.

The following five steps will further advance our understanding:

  • Conduct a large prospective study of neurologic Lyme disease, which may clarify the incidence of chronic symptoms after standard treatment and identify risk factors that influence relapse vs. recovery.
  • Apply newly developed technologies to identify better diagnostics and biomarkers …

to read the complete article click here

Dr. Brian Fallon is director of the Lyme and Tick Borne Disease Research Center and professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University,  New York. The center received a small grant last year from the Lyme Disease Association toward developing a repository for Lyme specimens.


Lyme Disease and Parkinson’s


I have Lyme, and have received extensive treatment. I now have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which does respond to dopamine. Can Lyme imitate Parkinson’s?

Answer from Dr. Eric Gordon:

Lyme can cause Parkinson’s in a person with the right genetic and environmental risks and exposures. Parkinson’s is probably a result of inflammation in the brain resulting in destruction of dopamine producing cells.

Treating the Lyme will help reduce inflammation. If the Lyme is gone dormant or quiescent, and the Parkinson symptoms persist, treatment with IV phospholipids and glutathione will help the Parkinson’s. Multiple other supportive measures are useful, including structural and nutritional treatments to reestablish a normal balance of immune function. Heavy metal toxicity is often an inciting cause of Parkinson’s and a cause of failure of antibiotic therapy in chronic Lyme.

There is no one treatment for persistent Lyme. Long term antibiotics may be needed, especially for severe neurologic symptoms. You need to have your Lyme status reevaluated to make a better decision on what to do next.

Dopamine is not a long term solution for Parkinson’s. It is an effective band-aid.

Question: Can Lyme Imitate Parkinson’s?

The short answer is yes. Lyme can cause or imitate many different types of problems in the nervous system. It can cause or worsen tremors, movement disorders, seizures, cognitive problems, paralysis of specific nerves, etc. Parkinson’s is not primarily an inherited condition, but is caused by inflammatory factors, toxins, and other triggers in the external and internal environment. We have seen patients with Parkinson’s disease whose symptoms have improved, sometimes dramatically, with Lyme treatment and other patients that do not improve much with treatment.

Dr Eric Gordon practices in Santa Rosa, California at Gordon Medical Associates. What Dr. Eric Gordon emphasizes is listening to his patients. “I believe my patients. Their description of what is going on in their body is the most accurate way we have to assess what is going on with them. I interpret the information they present, and blend it with laboratory results and imaging and other tests to determine a protocol that is customized to their condition.”