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Lyme disease support group to meet July 26
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The area Lyme support group will gather July 26 in the meeting room of the Hillsboro Public Library, 819 High Ave., from 6:30-8 pm. This informal meeting is open to Lyme sufferers, their families, and the general public. Any questions? Email, or phone 608-489-2725 (ask for Gary).

The following excerpts about Lyme disease are adapted from an article by Dr. Robert C. Bransfield, M.D., "Relationship of Inflamation and Autoimmunithy to Psychaiatric Sequelae in Lyme Disease."

“The causative spirochete of Lyme disease (LYD,) Borrelia burgdorferi, (BB) is the most common human tick-borne disease (TBD) pathogen in the Northern hemisphere…It’s probably the most complex bacteria known with 90% of its genetic material unrelated to any known bacteria. (There are four different species pathogenic in humans and 300 different strains.) Its genes facilitate adaptation of the organism in different forms; and in different hosts with multiple mechanisms to evade and weaken host defenses. ... BB, together with other known and unknown pathogens may result in interactive coinfections. ...

“Adding to the confusion is the lack of consensus regarding the definition of Lyme Disease in the medical community.
Some believe TRD chronic persistent infection does not exist and speculate that persistent symptoms are associated with a self-perpetuating immune process that continues after the infection has cleared. However, no self-perpetuating immune process without persistent infection has ever been scientifically proven. ... In contrast, those who consider a broader definition view the aberrant immune process as being associated with a persistent infectious process. ...

“LYD/TBD is associated with multisystemic symptoms, including psychiatric symptoms, which are more significant with Babesia and Bartonella coinfections. ... BB infections lead to direct effects, such as possible toxin release and cell penetration and cellular breakdown. Like other infections, most symptoms are instead associated with immune effects ... including persistent inflammation, the release of proinflammatory lipoproteins and autoimmune problems.

“Some initial stages may include a bull’s eye rash, flu-like symptoms, cranial nerve problems and other early neurological symptoms, and musculoskeletal symptoms. Next, fatigue and cognitive impairments may occur. Subsequently, depression and other psychiatric symptoms are common, and in some cases late-stage disease is associated with dementia. ... All of these symptoms may be temporarily exacerbated in response to a Jarisch-Herxheimer immune reaction provoked by antibiotic treatment. It is important to recognize that infection without central nervous system penetration can have immune effects in the brain. ... Elevations of proinflammatory cytokines are associated with suicide attempts, self-destructive behavior, aggressive behavior, and fatigue. ... Violent behavior is sometimes seen associated with LYD/TBD; it appears to be immune mediated and is often bizarre, senseless, and unpredictable.

“The stress of chronic infections causes a vicious cycle of chronic stress and nonrestorative sleep that contributes to perpetuating the disease process and is associated with decreased regenerative functioning, compromised immunity, oxidative stress, decreased growth hormone production, and decreased resistance to infectious disease. ... These immune reactions can result in psychiatric symptoms such as obsessiveness, movement disorders, paranoia, and others. Autism spectrum disorders associated with LYD and other TBD’s appear mediated by a combination of inflammatory and autoimmune mechanisms from the mother’s and/or infant’s immune system. Understanding this pathophysiology will help physicians create new treatment options.”

The full article can be found on the Facebook page for Lane Poor, or on the web at