Monday, March 22, 2010

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

And in preparation... here is some information about Lyme Disease:

What are Neurological Complications Of Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial organism that is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected tick. Most people bitten by an infected tick develop a characteristic skin rash around the area of the bite. The rash may feel hot to the touch, and vary in size, shape, and color, but it will often have a "bull's eye" appearance (a red ring with a clear center). However, there are those who will not develop the rash, which makes Lyme disease hard to diagnose because its symptoms and signs mimic those of many other diseases.

Seven to 10 days following an infected tick's bite, the first stage of Lyme disease begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain.

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, and nerve damage in the arms and legs.

Is there any treatment?

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics under the supervision of a physician.

What is the prognosis?

Most individuals with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotics and have full recovery. In a few patients symptoms of persisting infection may continue or recur, requiring additional antibiotic treatment. Varying degrees of permanent joint or nervous system damage may develop in patients with late chronic Lyme disease. In rare cases, some individuals may die from Lyme disease and its complications.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports research on Lyme disease. Current areas of interest include improving diagnostic tests and developing more effective treatments. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the National Center for Research Resources also support research on Lyme disease.

1 comment:

  1. That was from the NIH. I also strongly support ILADS, which is what my doctor is a member of. Their research is being done outside the scope of the IDSA because of the politics that are currently a huge part of the medical guidelines. I don't care about the politics. I just want to get better.

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