*Updated 4th June 2014
New Probe Shows Lyme As a Cause of Multiple Sclerosis Victims
by JENNA SMITH posted on MARCH 1, 2014
Full article available in the following link..
Links between Lyme and MS:
Worldwide, MS prevalence parallels the distribution of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi, and in America and Europe, the birth excesses of those individuals who later in life develop MS exactly mirror the seasonal distributions of Borrelia transmitting Ixodes ticks. In addition to known acute infections, no other disease exhibits equally marked epidemiological clusters by season and locality, nurturing the hope that prevention might ultimately be attainable. As minocycline, tinidazole and hydroxychloroquine are reportedly capable of destroying both the spirochaetal and cystic L-form of B. burgdorferi found in MS brains, there emerges also new hope for those already afflicted. Clinic for Internal and Geographical Medicine, Switzerland
[The above contains many peer reviewed articles on the links between Lyme and MS, plus some patients reports further down the page. The amount of evidence is quite astounding!]
This extract is from the report ‘When to Suspect Lyme’ by Dr Bleiweiss MD:
Many patients are told that they have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) because of brain MRI findings or a spinal tap was positive for oligoclonal bands (OCB) or myelin basic protein (MBP). The medical literature is quite emphatic that MRI does not reliably distinguish between MS an LD because there is too much overlap in their supposedly distinct appearance and location of plaques. Plaques have been detected with both disorders in the brain and spinal cord. OCB’s and MBP are non-specific markers for demyelination (loss of sheath around nerves) and do not signify a cause of the demyelination. In Miklossy’s study above, senile plaques stained avidly for Bb spirochetes. Vincent Marshall reviewed the MD literature in Medical Hypothesis (Vol 25: 89-92, 1988) and advances the notion that LD is causing MS! His survey revealed that multiple studies prior to 1951 were able to demonstrate spirochetes in the spinal fluid of MS patients (by inoculation into animals and on silver stain of CNS tissues). Dr. Coyle has documented the presence of antibodies to Bb in MS patients (Neurology Vol. 39:760-763, 1989). The encephalopathy attributed to MS is very reminiscent of LD. Both MS and LD are associated with sinusitis (Lancet, 1986). Dr. Leigner has reported a case of LD which fulfilled all criteria for MS. The epidemiology of MS and the geographic distribution parallels that of LD. The symptoms of both LD and MS can be aggravated if the patient takes a hot bath. Anecdotally, patients with LD, who previously had been identified as MS, responded to antibiotic therapy.
The Patient as Diagnostician: How the Internet Helped an MS Patient Find Her True Diagnosis
by Ginger Savely, RN, FNP-C
NB link now broken but have kept for informational purposes
How many of you have surfed the Web to look for a diagnosis to fit the symptoms that you or one of your loved ones is experiencing? As a nurse practitioner I often see patients who, when dissatisfied with a diagnosis (or lack of diagnosis) given to them by a health care provider, look to the Internet to discover what is really wrong with them.
Many of my colleagues scoff at this behavior, saying that the Internet is the worst thing that has ever happened to health care. They are displeased when patients come in with a probable diagnosis already in mind and present a list of tests they are convinced are needed in order to prove or disprove their conclusion. The concern of many health care providers is that the information on the Internet is unreliable and that it encourages patients to obsess over symptoms and even to imagine new symptoms in order to fit the criteria necessary for a certain diagnosis. “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing,” they often say.
Most of the patients I see have been through the mill when it comes to doctors and testing and have lost their faith in the health care system that has failed them. So, it comes as no surprise to me that these patients have learned to take their health care into their own hands, educating themselves to the point of being able to speak “medicalese” like a pro. Time and time again I have observed that this tendency on the part of patients to become medically educated has been to their advantage, and many a life has been saved or bettered through the process. In my opinion this proactive behavior on the part of patients should be encouraged.
Maria: A Case in Point
Maria lives in Austin, Texas and is a petite, 49 year old lady who appears younger than her age. During our first encounter she explained that she was frustrated and unwilling to accept a recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). She had been experiencing recurrent right-sided facial pain (trigeminal neuralgia) for five years which had led her to consult a neurologist. An MRI brain scan had shown white patches indicative of nerve inflammation.
A spinal tap had revealed unusual proteins consistent with an MS diagnosis, and a recent repeat MRI had shown progression of the disease with increased number and size of the inflammatory lesions. Based on her symptoms and these findings, her neurologist had diagnosed her with MS and advised her to begin immunosuppressive therapy in order to decrease inflammation.
Maria had been researching her symptoms on the Internet, and had become convinced that her problem was actually related to advanced neurologic Lyme disease. She had been unable to convince her neurologist that this might be the case. He felt it was a clear-cut case of MS and was not inclined to consider the possibility of an illness that did not appear to be endemic to central Texas. To placate her he had ordered a Lyme screening test, the ELISA test, which had come back negative. Because Maria was convinced her problem was due to a bacterial infection, she refused to follow the advice of her neurologist to begin immunosuppressive therapy, fearing that this would affect her ability to fight the infection.
Maria came to me because she had heard of my special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. I reviewed her medical history and made special note of her report of a tick attachment to her right lower leg six years earlier, followed by a 5 inch bullseye-shaped rash. This had occurred while she was camping in a rural area of central Texas.
Symptoms had started soon afterward. Some of these symptoms were typical of both Lyme disease and MS, such as insomnia, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, weakness, numbness, blood pressure fluctuations, constipation, acid reflux, urinary urgency, and exhaustion. She was also experiencing symptoms that were typical of Lyme disease but not of MS: joint pain, muscle aches, jaw and tooth pain, ringing in the ears, and a stiff neck. Many classic MS symptoms were missing, such as optic nerve inflammation, double vision, abnormal eye movements, spasticity, muscle atrophy and balance problems. Her in-office physical exam did not reveal any obvious abnormalities.
I was familiar with a study published by the Texas Department of Health in 1994 that had revealed that over 1% of ticks collected in eight Texas state parks had tested positive for borrelia spirochetes, the corkscrew-shaped causative agents of Lyme disease. In fact, per the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), borrelia-carrying ticks had been found in every state in the union. The rash Maria had described on her leg certainly sounded like erythema migrans, the classic “bullseye” rash that is diagnostic for Lyme disease. Her negative result on the ELISA screening test that had been ordered by her neurologist didn’t impress me; ELISA tests for Lyme borreliosis are notoriously insensitive. There is evidence that the ELISA has a sensitivity of only 30-40% and therefore does not meet the 95% sensitivity criteria necessary for a screening test.
The Western blot is a better test to use for screening. Unfortunately most labs do not report the individual reactive bands on the blot but report only a positive or negative end-result based on the presence of bands relevant for epidemiologic rather than diagnostic criteria.
It is of utmost importance to choose a lab that reports ALL of the positive bands. Diagnosis of a sick patient and qualification for epidemiologic inclusion are two different matters! I chose to use the highly reputable IGeneX Laboratories in Palo Alto, California. Through IGeneX testing the patient was positive for Lyme both by the Western blot IgM and by antigen captured in the urine. The history, symptoms, and now the lab results were pointing to a diagnosis of late-stage neurologic Lyme disease (neuroborreliosis) rather than MS.
After three months of intravenous (IV) and oral antibiotic treatment, Maria reported several subjective improvements. Her overall fatigue, urinary frequency, and discomfort were lessened. The numbness in her hands and feet was gone, as was her subjective sensation of weakness.
Maria continued to tolerate the treatment well. After six months of IV antibiotics a repeat MRI showed a 25% reduction in inflammatory lesions. She reported overall improvement, with continually decreasing fatigue, malaise, weakness, cognitive problems, and muscle pain. She continues to improve on IV antibiotics. MS is a progressive disease, and although remissions are common, a reduction in brain inflammation is not.
This improvement in the patient’s MRI was quite a surprise for the neurologist and served to strengthen my belief that the patient’s problem all along had been neuroborreliosis rather than MS. Because of the many similarities in the two diagnoses, it is extremely important to pay attention to the patient’s history and development of symptoms and to know how to test correctly for the presence of borrelia antibodies. MS is a diagnosis based primarily on subjective symptoms, and according to the CDC, Lyme disease is as well. The previously mentioned MRI and spinal tap findings in this patient were not diagnostic of MS per se, since they are often also present in Lyme patients with neurologic involvement.
When clinicians complain about the incorrect medical information patients come across on the Internet or the tendency for patients to self-diagnose based on this information, they need to look at the bigger picture and realize that the occasional enlightening discovery is well worth the inevitable false alarms. I continue to support patients who research their symptoms on the Web, believing it empowers them to be proactive about their health care. Sometimes, as was the case with Maria, this kind of patient collaboration can prove to be a life-saver.
18 year old student Megan Blewett did a study on cases of MS & Lyme across the States in 2006.
“She hypothesizes that both diseases may share a common spirochetal basis and MS might develop from a secondary tick bite.
Blewett consulted with ESRI spatial statistics expert Lauren Scott on using GIS in her research, and Scott comments, “While biologists and medical researchers investigate this hypothesis at the cellular level, Megan’s work examines the spatial fingerprint of these two diseases at broad spatial scales, then tests hypotheses regarding their spatial correlation.” “I wish to expand my research from a national to a global scale, while also testing my models in smaller geographic areas,” Blewett continues. “A recent study suggests that MS is in fact 50 percent more common than previously predicted.”
Blewett presented her work at the 2006 ESRI International User Conference and participated in the Academic Fair during the 2006 ESRI Health GIS Conference. This year, she was accepted into several top universities and awarded seventh place in the prestigious 66th Annual Intel Science Talent Search.”
For more information, go to:
Rare infections mimicking MS
References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.
University of Zagreb, School of Medicine and University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Department of Neurology and Refferal Center for Demyelinating Diseases of the Central Nervous System, Zagreb, Croatia
Available online 2 May 2010.
The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), despite well defined clinical criteria is not always simple. On many occasions it is difficult to differentiate MS from various non-MS idiopathic demyelinating disorders, specific and infectious inflammatory diseases or non-inflammatory demyelinating diseases. Clinicians should be aware of various clinical and MRI “red flags” that may point to the other diagnosis and demand further diagnostic evaluation. It is generally accepted that atypical clinical symptoms or atypical neuroimaging signs determine necessity for broad differential diagnostic work up. Of the infectious diseases that are most commonly mistaken for MS the clinician should take into account Whipple’s disease, Lyme disease, Syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Brucellosis, HHV-6 infection, Hepatitis C, Mycoplasma and Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, among others. Cat scratch disease caused by Bartonella hensellae, Mediterranean spotted fever caused by Riketssia connore and Leptospirosis caused by different Leptospira serovars rarely cause focal neurological deficit and demyelinating MRI changes similar to MS. When atypical clinical and neuroimaging presentations are present, serology on rare infectious diseases that may mimic MS may be warranted. This review will focus on the infectious diseases mimicking MS with presentation of rare illustrative cases.
LYME AND MS HAVING THE SAME ETIOLOGY
html-edited by Joachim Gruber
Contains a number of articles in relation to Lyme & MS collected by Kathy Cavert.
Lyme on the Brain
Some presentation notes on MS & Lyme (& microbiologist Tom Grier’s personal reflection of his progressive MS responding to Lyme treatment).
Cpn & Multiple Sclerosis
Empirical antibacterial treatment of infection with Chlamydophila pneumoniae in Multiple Sclerosis
David Wheldon MB FRCPath
After much controversy a considerable body of evidence now demonstrates a firm causal connection between chronic infection with the primary respiratory pathogen Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae and at least some variants of the neurological disease Multiple Sclerosis. These web-pages review the evidence. References are cited.
Treatment of chronic infection with this organism is regarded as highly problematic. Some authorities claim that total eradication is not possible. These pages suggest a possible schedule of treatment which may be expected to address all phases of the organism’s life-cycle.
Site has hyperlinks against each point in list ..
1. Overview of evidence; treatment schedule
2. The above, abbreviated as a pdf file. This can be printed.
3. C pneumoniae: Questions and answers
4. Bursting the elementary ‘spore’ bodies – N-acetylcysteine’s benefits
5. Co-pathogens: ‘henchmen’ viruses
6. Other chronic infections. How chronic damage is compounded
7. Supplements and antioxidants
8. A compilation of supportive and confirmatory studies
9. Paul Le Gac: pioneer of MS treatment with antibiotics
10. Neurological sequelae of treatment
11. Vitamin D
13. A review article published in Trends in Microbiology
14. Might antibiotic resistance develop in C. pneumoniae?
15. Personality Changes in Multiple Sclerosis.
Association between multiple sclerosis and cystic structures in cerebrospinal fluid.
Infection 2001 Dec;29(6):315-9
Brorson O, Brorson SH, Henriksen TH, Skogen PR, Schoyen R.
Dept. of Microbiology, Vestfold Sentralsykehus, Tonsberg, Norway.
BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to search for infectious agents in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: CSF from ten patients with the diagnosis relapsing remitting MS and from five controls without MS were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dark field microscopy (DF), interference contrast microscopy (ICM) and UV-microscopic examination of acridine orange staining (AO). All CSF samples from patients and controls were cultured.
RESULTS: Cystic structures were observed in CSF of all ten patients by AO and TEM. DF revealed eight cyst-positive patients out of nine. One of five control persons had such structures in the CSF; this person had suffered from erythema migrans. Spirochete or rod-like structures emerged after culturing two of the MS patient CSF samples and these structures could be propagated.
CONCLUSION: A significant association of CSF cysts and MS was identified in this small study among residents in a coastal area of southern Norway. The cysts could be of spirochetal origin. Our study may encourage other researchers to study larger patient groups.
PMID: 11787831 [PubMed – in process]
Chronic Lyme borreliosis at the root of multiple sclerosis – is a cure with antibiotics attainable? by Markus Fritzsche*
Clinic for Internal and Geographical Medicine, Soodstrasse 13, 8134 Adliswil, Switzerland
Received 15 September 2004; accepted 17 September 2004
Apart from its devastating impact on individuals and their families, multiple sclerosis (MS) creates a huge economic burden for society by mainly afflicting young adults in their most productive years. Although effective strategies for symptom management and disease modifying therapies have evolved, there exists no curative treatment yet.
Worldwide, MS prevalence parallels the distribution of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi, and in America and Europe, the birth excesses of those individuals who later in life develop MS exactly mirror the seasonal distributions of Borrelia transmitting Ixodes ticks. In addition to known acute infections, no other disease exhibits equally marked epidemiological clusters by season and locality, nurturing the hope that prevention might ultimately be attainable.
As minocycline, tinidazole and hydroxychloroquine are reportedly capable of destroying both the spirochaetal and cystic L-form of B. burgdorferi found in MS brains, there emerges also new hope for those already afflicted. The immunomodulating anti-inflammatory potential of minocycline and hydroxychloroquine may furthermore reduce the Jarisch Herxheimer reaction triggered by decaying Borrelia at treatment initiation.
Even in those cases unrelated to B. burgdorferi, minocycline is known for its beneficial effect on several factors considered to be detrimental in MS. Patients receiving a combination of these pharmaceuticals are thus expected to be cured or to have a longer period of remission compared to untreated controls. Although the goal of this rational, cost-effective and potentially curative treatment seems simple enough, the importance of a scientifically sound approach cannot be overemphasised. A randomised, prospective, double blinded trial is necessary in patients from B. burgdorferi endemic areas with established MS and/or Borrelia L-forms in their cerebrospinal fluid, and to yield reasonable significance within due time, the groups must be large enough and preferably taken together in a multi-centre study.
Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis with Anti-Lyme Disease Antibiotics Being Used to Treat Lyme Disease
The concept of treating infections and other serious diseases based on possibility rather than probability is not new. Who among the readers of this essay have not added an antibiotic to the treatment of fever of unknown etiology because of the possibility that it may be associated with a bacterial infection?
Have not most oncologist given patients with serious cancer chemotherapy because of the possibility that it might help them? It is in this frame of reference that this essay suggests that ceftriaxone should be added to treatment programs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) because of their possible relationship to Lyme disease.
First we will discuss the lessons that can be learned from syphilis, which is the spirochetal disease most closely related to Lyme disease.1 Then, we will present anecdotes of cases of ALS and MS seen at the Waisbren Clinic. These anecdotes support the conclusion that there is a possibility that treatment for Lyme disease might help some patients who live in areas where Lyme disease is endemic and who present with syndromes compatible with MS and ALS. 2 Finally, articles in the literature will be alluded to that may help explain the anecdotes in this article.3-20
More at: http://www.waisbrenclinic.com/ALS-MS-lyme-disease.html
Multiple sclerosis is Lyme disease: Anatomy of a cover-up
Contains various studies linking MS with Lyme Disease
[Differential aspects of multiple sclerosis and chronic borrelial encephalomyelitis.]
Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2011;111(7):8-12.
Spirin NN, Baranova NS, Fadeeva OA, Shipova EG, Stepanov IO.
The Yaroslavl region is an endemic area for Lyme disease (LD) with one of the highest levels of morbidity in Russia. Chronic neuroborreliosis can mimic multiple sclerosis and cause considerable difficulties in differential diagnosis. A comparative clinical-instrumental analysis of patients with definite multiple sclerosis (n=65) and chronic borrelial encephalomyelitis (n=11) was carried out. The key differential-diagnostic features of multiple sclerosis and borrelial encephalomyelitis were specified. Migrating erythema and tick’s bite in the anamnesis, combined with lesions of the central and peripheral nervous systems, the absence of retrobulbar neuritis in the anamnesis, artralgia and myalgia, the high blood sedimentation rate were not characteristic of multiple sclerosis. A patient with abovementioned findings should be tested for the presence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in the blood serum and, if necessary, in the cerebrospinal fluid to exclude the diagnosis of Lime disease.
PMID: 21947065 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Lyme Disease and Multiple Sclerosis ( MS )
A list of articles at http://canlyme.com/2012/11/12/is-multiple-sclerosis-ms-a-symptom-of-lyme-disease/