After all these years of long term chronic Lyme Disease patients like myself being told that there is no such thing as chronic Lyme we have FINALLY been vindicated. We always knew what we were sick with it was just certain physicians of the medical establishment who wouldn't listen. Well now they MUST listen. Please read on.
Tacoma, WA - July 6, 2008
Lyme disease mystery might have been solved
DELTHIA RICKS; Newsday
Published: July 5th, 2008 01:00 AM
Medical investigators have identified a single bacterial strain that causes Lyme disease in patients on two continents and that might be responsible for a growing number of severe, invasive cases in the United States and Europe since the 1980s.
Dr. Ben Luft and colleagues at Stony Brook University Medical Center on Long
Island, N.Y., have isolated a strain of Borrelia burgdorferi - the bacterium
that causes Lyme - and declared it prevalent not only in the United States,
but also in Europe. The finding, considered unusual, is reported in the
journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
"We studied a large number of strains from throughout the United States and
Europe, well over 100 strains," Luft said this week. "But there was only one
that was identical. And when you consider that we are a world apart
separated by an ocean where there is no common interaction . it is
surprising to find that (the American and European strains) were the same."
He believes migratory birds might have transported the strain across
continents. Luft said the strain is responsible for 30 percent to 40 percent
of all Lyme cases.
Lyme is the most common tick-transmitted disorder in the United States. An invasive form, caused by a bacterium like the one identified by Luft and his colleagues, can enter the bloodstream and attack major organs. Invasive Lyme has become more prevalent over the last 20 years.
Advocates for patients applauded the finding, saying the discovery helps explain cases of long-term Lyme disease.
Eva Haughie, president of the Empire State Lyme Disease Association, said 15
members of her immediate and extended family developed Lyme disease. Even
her dog got Lyme and died of it.
"We've known this all along that there is a difference in virulence," said
Haughie, referring to the differing strains of Lyme bacteria.
Some patients say their bout with Lyme was short-lived; others have suffered
a variety of symptoms for years. In Haughie's case, she suffered a form of
memory impairment comparable to Alzheimer's. Her daughters have what many
patients refer to as persistent Lyme.
© Copyright 2008 Tacoma News, Inc.