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New Info about Lyme disease

Old 06-02-2017, 12:40 PM
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Default New Info about Lyme disease

I copied this from another hunters message board and am posting it here because I think it is important for us to know all we can about tick diseases and the treatment of them. This new information may just help someone.

On a visit to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Dr. Nevena Zubcevik challenged conventional diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.

By Barry Stringfellow -July 13, 2016
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Dr. Nevena Zubcevik described her findings on Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment, and its effect on the brain, to Martha's Vineyard Hospital physicians and members of the public last week. — Barry Stringfellow
This past Friday, Dr. Nevena Zubcevik, attending physician at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown (SRH) traveled to one of the nation’s front lines in the public health battle against Lyme disease to speak to a group of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital physicians. “I wanted to do this presentation by Skype because of all the ticks you have here,” she joked.

Dr. Zubcevik was at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) to speak at grand rounds, a weekly meeting of clinicians, which on this day was open to the public, resulting in an overflow crowd at the Community Room just off the hospital lobby.

Over the course of the hour, she shared the most recent findings that she and her colleagues have made on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, in particular on the 10 to 15 percent of patients who suffer long-term symptoms, defined by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). She discussed the protean nature of tick-borne diseases, the importance of public awareness, and the urgent need for the medical community to step up its game.

“Graduating medical students and doctors really aren’t educated about the gravity of this epidemic,” she said. “There’s a gap there that needs to be filled. We’re all responsible to educate our young doctors about what this entails.”

Dr. Zubcevic said the recent revelation that actor, singer, and songwriter Kris Kristofferson was cured of dementia once he was properly diagnosed with Lyme disease should be a lesson for medical professionals on how pervasive the disease is, and how often it is overlooked.

“Sudden-onset dementia should really be a red flag for Lyme [disease], especially in people with compromised immune systems,” she said.

“Everyone over 50 has a compromised immune system.”

Dr. Zubcevik said that doctors and parents should know that Lyme presents differently in children than it does in adults. “71 percent of the time, headache is the most common symptom in children,” she said. “Mood disturbance, fatigue, and irritability are also frequent symptoms in children. If they are acting out in school all of a sudden, get them tested.”

Dr. Zubcevik cited a particularly compelling example of undiagnosed Lyme disease where a 29-year-old male had been institutionalized four times for schizophrenia. After a series of tests, and in concert with a psychiatrist, Dr. Zubcevik began a course of daily antibiotics on him. “The first month he could remember what he had for breakfast,” she said. “The second month he could read a chapter of a book, and after six months he was back to normal. He could tolerate light and sound again, which he couldn’t before.”

Tick truths challenged

Dr. Zubcevik said recent research debunks several commonly held beliefs about the transmission and treatment of tick-borne diseases.

“The conception that the tick has to be attached for 48 hours to inject the bacteria is completely outdated,” she said. “There are studies that show that an attachment of 15 minutes can give you anaplasmosis,10 minutes for the Powassan virus, and for the different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, we have no idea.”

Dr. Zubcevic said the notion that children, infants, or pregnant women should not be given doxycycline is also outdated. “Dermatologists have prescribed doxycycline to kids for years to treat acne; why not for such a debilitating disease?”

She also said the two-day course of doxycycline, often prescribed for people who find a tick embedded on their body, has little or no prophylactic value. “It should be 100 to 200 milligrams of doxycycline twice a day for 20 days, regardless of the time of engorgement,” she said. “It is not a two-day thing.”

The blood tests currently used to detect the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the Western blot test.

Dr. Zubcevik said research has shown there are 10 different strains of Lyme disease in the United States, and many of them do not test positive on the traditional Western blot or ELISA tests. In a previous email to The Times, she wrote that with current testing, 69 out of 100 patients who have Lyme disease may go untreated.

“The bull’s-eye rash only happens 20 percent of the time,” she said. “It can often look like a spider bite or a bruise. If you get a bull’s-eye it’s like winning the lottery. Borrelia miyamotoi, which we have a lot in Massachusetts, will not test positive on either test. That’s a huge problem, so the CDC is moving toward a different kind of test.”

Borrelia miyamotoi also has the potential to spread rapidly, since it’s transmitted directly from mother to offspring. Nymphal deer ticks need to feed on a mammal, most likely the white-footed mouse, to contract the virulent Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.

In addition to Lyme disease, Islanders are also vulnerable to coinfections such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia, which can also go undetected. “Babesiosis is a malaria-like disease that can persist for months or even years,” she said. “Patients who can’t catch their breath are a red flag for babesiosis.”

Double whammy

Dr. Zubcevik described deer tick nymphs as “the perfect vector” because of their diminutive size — the size of the “D” on a dime — and because of the analgesic in their saliva that often makes their bite almost undetectable.

The bacteria they inject are equally crafty.

“Borrelia burgdorferi is an amazing organism; I have a lot of respect for it,” she said. “It is a spirochete, meaning it can corkscrew into tissue as well as travel in the bloodstream. It can do whatever it wants. It’s twice the speed of a [white blood cell], which is our fastest cell. It’s so strong it can swim against the flow of the bloodstream.”

Dr. Zubcevik said there are videos that show a white blood cell pursuing a spirochete, which evades capture by drilling into tissue.

“It’s really easy to see why this adaptive bug can avoid the immune system,” she said.

Dr. Zubcevik said doxycycline stops the bacteria from replicating, but it doesn’t kill them. The rest is up to the body’s immune system, which is the reason some people suffer for so long.

“There’s a lot of neurotoxicity, which is why people feel so bad all over. It’s like a toxic warfare going on inside the patient’s body.”

Controversy continues

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker rejected the legislature’s controversial budget amendment that would have required insurance companies to cover the cost of long-term antibiotic treatment which chronic Lyme Disease (CLD) advocates maintain is the most effective treatment for their symptoms. The Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society, representing more than 500 infectious disease specialists, does not recognize CLD, and urged the governor to reject the amendment, asserting that long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy can be dangerous and possibly lead to “superbugs” that are immune to current treatments.

The CDC also does not recognize CLD or the use of long-term antibiotics for PTLDS. “Regardless of the cause of PTLDS, studies have not shown that patients who received prolonged courses of antibiotics do better in the long run than patients treated with placebo,” the CDC website states. “Furthermore, long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease has been associated with serious complications.”

However, the website also says, “Recent animal studies have given rise to questions that require further research.”

Dr. Zubcevik diagnoses the condition with a different name — “persistent symptoms related to Lyme disease.”

“I’m new to this field,” she said. “For me there’s no controversy. We have to innovate, we have to find solutions. [SRH] has connected with top scientists from all around the country. Studies show that after treatment in mice, dogs, and monkeys, Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are still there. This has also been shown in human tests.”

Citing the work of Dr. Ying Zhang at Johns Hopkins Lyme Center, she said the most likely effective remedy will be a combination of several antibiotics. In a previous interview with The Times, Dr. Zhang said he has worked on an effective PTLDS treatment for six years, and that current Lyme disease treatments may not clear bacterial debris, or “persisters,” which may be one of the possible causes of PTLDS. Dr. Zhang said that his work on tuberculosis (TB) is his primary focus; however, advances in fighting TB, e.g. using new combinations of drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have yielded promising results in the fight against “persisters.”

“There’s also a need to develop a more sensitive test,” he said.

Patient advocate

Although she started out at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital focusing on the neuropathy of concussions, Dr. Zubcevik branched out into treating people with Lyme disease in part because both maladies can cause similar cognitive impairment. “I heard Lyme disease patients say they can’t remember what they had for breakfast, or they get lost driving home,” she said. “It sounded the same as concussion symptoms, so we started doing PET scans.”

Positron emission tomography, or PET scan, is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance that shows brain functioning. Dr. Zubcevik said PET scan of a patient with persistent Lyme disease symptoms showed a brain colored in blue and purple hues, where a healthy brain presented with shades of yellow and green. She showed an image of the patient’s brain after six months of intravenous antibiotics, which was dominated by shades of yellow and green.

Dr. Zubcevik told the hospital gathering that many patients she sees have been suffering the physical, mental, and emotional effects of the disease for so long, they have lost the will to live. “I literally have patients who were just done,” she said. “They couldn’t go on. The first thing I do is validate their experience, and tell them, ‘I believe you.’ Sometimes they start crying because somebody finally listened. Some patients show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder because they’ve been ignored for so long. Marriages dissolve all the time because one spouse thinks the other is being lazy. Many chronically ill patients end up alone.”

Treatment at SRH borrows from many different disciplines. In addition to medication, it can include nutrition counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language therapy, mental health counseling, and referrals to infectious disease and other specialists as necessary.

Dr. Zubcevik said that the program was initially funded by a donation from a patient who was treated shortly after the clinic opened. “We’re always looking for more funding,” she said.

The current wait list at Spaulding is about four months.

Prevention, prevention, prevention

Read More:
http://www.mvtimes.com/2016/07/13/visit ... e-disease/
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:38 AM
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I've pulled off over 100 ticks this spring so far. None have been latched on yet, thankfully.
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Old 06-12-2017, 04:14 AM
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Great info Oldtimr, thanks!!!
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:39 PM
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Very interesting. A woman I know back in Australia contracted lyme's disease after getting infected by an australian paralysis tick.. they think she got it after brushing past ferns on a bush walk. She is an incredibly sick woman. All the best to those unfortunate enough to suffer from this disease.
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:14 PM
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If you get a bulls eye rash, go get tested and treated for lymes disease.

some can contract lymes without seeing a bulls eye rash.

the simple test for lymes often has false negatives.

be proactive.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:08 PM
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I might look like a dweeb, but I tuck my pants into my socks. It's better than how I'd look in a hospital bed.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:16 AM
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I had this when I was very young. I was the first case in my Dr. Office actually. Was sick for about 3 weeks and my highest temperature was about 104
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:24 AM
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Hello everyone, I have some information about Lyme Disease with Deer Ticks to share:

The full article is on our site as well:

Lyme Disease can affect animals and humans, and when left untreated can become debilitating and very serious indeed. The fact that humans are unlikely to realize they have been bitten, and that symptoms can not only take a little time to incubate, but can also be easily confused with other conditions, means that Lyme Disease can be hard to diagnose by healthcare professionals.

For that reason, it is important to recognize the symptoms of deer tick bites. Tell your doctor that you have been out and about in a wooded or grassy area recently. Symptom and disease awareness is vital when not only recognizing Lyme Disease, but also to treat it before it becomes extremely serious.

Lyme Disease can be treated easily with a strong course of antibiotics, if it is recognized early and treated accordingly. If the condition isn’t diagnosed, the disease may quickly incubate and spread, affecting the heart and nervous system.

If a person has already suffered a weakness in these areas of their body, they are even more susceptible to complications. The fact that Lyme Disease is discussed in healthcare circles so much these days, should tell you a lot about its seriousness, and the importance of being symptom and risk aware.

The main symptoms of Lyme Disease, as we mentioned, can be confused with other conditions, but overall you should be on the look out for:

- A gradual fever which can spike suddenly and be prolonged
- A headache that is either prolonged, or increases in intensity Fatigue and a feeling of no energy whatsoever
- A rash, which can occur anywhere on the body

While the fever, headache and fatigue are likely to point to many different conditions, the rash is often the tell tale symptom which leads to a diagnosis of Lyme Disease. Be sure to advise your healthcare professional about your ventures out into the wilderness.

This may help speed up a diagnosis, therefore making the disease much less serious for you.

The full article is a (Please Do Not Link To Your Personal Website)

We very much enjoy being apart of this forum....have a great day!!

Last edited by deerdust; 11-06-2017 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:50 AM
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I'm not sure what just got reported here, but this appears to be all good information. If you have a problem with something here, message me personally and I'll look into it.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:29 AM
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I think everyone has read my recent post in the Off Season forum about my incident with a tick bite...

FeedThatGame has an excellent thread above and covers my symptoms that I had back in September. This is the God's honest truth, what I went through and experienced:

No recollection of a tick bite.
No sign of a tick bite (sometimes you don't get a rash).
About 2 days later I felt like I got hit by a Mack truck!
Horrible fever of 101.3 and just would NOT break.
Hot, cold, hot, cold, profuse sweating, chills. Repeat...

Doctors findings, blood work, lab results, etc...
  1. White blood count - low.
  2. Platelets - low.
  3. Liver enzymes - elevated/very high.
  4. ...and a few other things I can't remember.

But seriously - the signs above, are vitally important. WBC, Platelets, and Liver Enzymes. You got Lymes, or you got Anaplasmosis, or you got Ehrlichiosis (What I had), when these main 3 are all whacked out. Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis are the minor variations of Lyme Disease... Full blown Lyme Disease will {expletive} you up for months and months, if not an entire year!

Doxycycline - a major antibiotic that works. Everybody and their brother has taken Doxy. It'll stop it, but it won't kill it.

Zithromax (aka Z-Pack) - another major, powerful, antibiotic that works really well. This stuff kills ANYTHING you got! It killed the Ehrlichiosis and put me back on my feet about 2 weeks later. It also killed a slight sinus headache/infection at the same time!
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