How to treat the long-term symptoms of Lyme Disease

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The condition of most patients with Lyme disease improves after initial antibiotic therapy; however, 10 to 20% of treated patients may have lingering symptoms of fatigue, musculoskeletal pains, disrupted sleep, and lack of customary mental functions” Melia and Auwaerter (2016).

Extract:

The condition of most patients with Lyme disease improves after initial antibiotic therapy; however, 10 to 20% of treated patients may have lingering symptoms of fatigue, musculoskeletal pains, disrupted sleep, and lack of customary mental functions. The plausible idea that additional antimicrobial therapy for potentially persistent bacterial infection would foster improvement has been a touchstone of hope in the 40 years since discovery of the disease in the mid-1970s.

Patients with long-standing symptoms and well-documented, previously treated Lyme disease have been the focus of a number of randomized, placebo-controlled studies in North America that assessed whether additional antibiotic therapy offers a reduction in symptoms.1 Because molecular or culture methods did not find evidence of persistent infection in the enrolled patients, it was perhaps not surprising that additional antimicrobial therapy yielded neither clinically significant nor durable reductions in symptoms as compared with placebo.

Full Text

Reference:

Melia, M.T. and Auwaerter, P.G. (2016) Time for a Different Approach to Lyme Disease and Long-Term Symptoms. The New England Journal of Medicine. 374(13), p.1277-1278.

DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1502350

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