Friday, April 3, 2009

What are Neurological Complications Of Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease, sometimes referred to as Lyme infection, is a bacterial illness, transmitted to humans by the bite of deer ticks (Ixodes ticks) carrying a bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease has been reported in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, North Central, and Pacific coastal regions of the United States and in Europe, where it was first described almost 100 years ago. It is most prevalent in the northeastern states of the United States, with about half of all cases clustered in New York and Connecticut.

Who gets Lyme disease?

Lyme disease can affect people of any age. People who spend time in grassy and wooded environments are at an increased risk of exposure. The chances of being bitten by a deer tick are greater during times of the year when ticks are most active. Young deer ticks, called nymphs, are active from mid-May to mid-August and are about the size of poppy seeds.

Adult ticks, which are approximately the size of sesame seeds, are most active from March to mid-May and from mid-August to November. Both nymphs and adults can transmit Lyme disease. Ticks can be active any time the temperature is above freezing. Infected deer ticks can be found throughout New York State.

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.


This is evolving as both testing becomes more reliable, more case histories and information on patient responses to various treatment protocols is compiled and compared, and better information on co-infections, etc., are found and disseminated. Many within the Lyme disease medical and patient community recommend the following, both to learn more about the disease as well as current information on treatment.

The antibiotic therapy of early LD generally results in complete recovery. A 2 week course of oral doxycycline or amoxycillin for Stage I and a third generation cephalosporin for Stage II are the most commonly used regimens. Treatment of late stage LD is less successful and a chronic or relapsing course is common. A third generation cephalosporin for 3 weeks is recommended.

The prevention of LD is mainly through avoidance of tick infested areas and of tick bites by the use of repellents (particularly those containing DEET), wearing of light coloured clothing so that ticks are more easily seen and prompt removal of attached ticks. Transmission of spirochaetes generally does not occur until after 24 hours attachment of the tick. Antibiotic prophylaxis is not recommended. Trials of LD vaccines are in progress with varying degrees of success.

By; James Sameul

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