As May is awareness month for Lyme Disease I want to highlight the problems patients have by being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when in fact they have Lyme Disease.
If patients with Neurological symptoms are actually tested for Lyme Disease their doctors are led to believe that a negative result means you can't have Lyme Disease. This is quite wrong research shows blood tests can miss up to 50% of cases.
Imagine living with a progressive infectious illness, treated symptomatically when adequate treatment on antibiotics is the way Lyme disease is treated and symptoms can improve and we can regain our health and our lives.
There are many patients with Lyme Disease that I am in touch with who have neurological symptoms and some previously have been diagnosed with MS but on antibiotics are getting better.
The presentation by Lorraine Johnson to the IDSA review panel shows her scans before and after treatment for Lyme Disease she had been previously diagnosed with MS. Her video and presentation can be found on http://www.ilads.org/ by clicking on the right hand side lower down on their home page.
In fact all these presentations are worth taking time to watch and read so that we can all make our own decisions sadly many of our consultants won't have taken the time to consider this considerable body of evidence supporting ILADS guidelines and remain way behind the times following outdated opinions those of the IDSA 2006 guidelines.
Many of the ILADS supporters presented research on the problems over testing but another useful place to look is http://www.lymeinfo.net/lymefiles.html
17 pages of studies on seronegativity
For over 20 years studies have been done regarding Lyme Disease mis diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis
Why are our doctors still missing the diagnosis well you need to get very well informed of the shenanigans that have been skewing the science and the guidelines that our doctors rely on since Lyme Disease was found to be a bacterial infection in the early 1980's. Of course Borreliosis was recognised in Europe about a hundred years before it was called Lyme Disease and one of the European species is characterised by it's neurological presentations.
One very clever student some years ago correlated a map comparing incidence of Lyme Disease and Multiple Sclerosis you can see her work here.
Canada has the highest incidence of MS in the World, but patients with Lyme Disease probably have the hardest job getting diagnosed with Lyme Disease and there are no Lyme Literate Medical doctors practising in Canada, not every patient can afford to travel out of state for treatment.
Scotland I believe also has a very high incidence per population of Multiple Sclerosis, it has been a known endemic area for Lyme Disease for many years.
Some recent research on Rare infections mimicking MS.
Brinar VV, Habek M.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.
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. Copyright (c) 2010. Published byElsevier B.V.http://eutils.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/eutils/elink.fcgi?dbfrom=pubmed&id=20439131&retmode=ref&cmd=prlinksPMID: 20439131 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Whilst the science is still emerging about Lyme Disease and doctors badly misled by all our health authorities it pays to become well informed and do our own research before accepting at face value everything our doctors tell us, they are after all human and can make mistakes.