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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.