Saturday, 26 May 2012

Under Our Skin Itunes

You can buy or rent Under Our Skin on Itunes in UK Here

I highly recommend you watch this film about Lyme Disease.

Plot Summary

In the 1970s, a mysterious and deadly illness began infecting children in a small town in Connecticut. Today it's a global epidemic. A real-life thriller, this shocking festival hit exposes the controversy surrounding Lyme disease. Following the stories of patients and doctors fighting for their lives, director Andy Abrahams Wilson [or, the film] reveals with beauty and horror a natural world out of balance and a human nature all too willing to put profits before patients.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Insommnia again

Hello all,

Well I have had Lyme now for 30 years. I never unedrestood through all the years why i had such trouble with sleep, yes sleep eluded me.
I could never understand why some nights I would just lie awake until the sun rose again.

I started to work in Hotel management this career suited me down to the ground because it's a career that means you work at night and work hard.
The Lyme and co-infections could obviously get all that they needed when I was awake all through the night!.
Now i am treating myself i have the added problem of Insomnia with the Herx reactions, but i will say I prefer this type of insomnia to what I used to suffer from anyday.

Having been on my treatment for nearly a year my sleeping pattern is becoming normal and at last i am getting tired at the right times and actually falling asleep at the right times yippee!
This is quite a milestone for me in so many ways.
Ok my new sleep pattern has been for about three months but at least I do not sleep talk anymore.
So gone are the days of watching through the night T.V this is a blessing.

If you are suffering with Insommnia do not lose heart there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Tick paralysis strikes girl age 2

Health professionals are looking into a rare case of a little girl who was paralyzed after being bitten by an American dog tick.
The 2-year-old was unable to eat or drink — immobilized by a potentially fatal illness — when she was brought to Albany Medical Center this month. Jenna Tomlins woke up May 4 feeling tired and lethargic.
“She couldn’t stand up, she couldn’t really move,” said her mother, Rachel Tomlins, 25, of Hopewell Junction. “I just thought maybe she was tired. She was up late the night before.”
Her mother recalled the girl having trouble drinking.
“That’s when I called the pediatrician,” she said.
The doctor suggested the girl, who had no rash or fever, get some fresh air. When she appeared weaker, she was brought to a local emergency care center.
“The doctor was completely baffled, so we took her to Vassar,” Tomlins said. “She had X-rays, CAT scans, urine analysis, blood tests and a spinal tap. They thought maybe she had botulism.”
But the tests came back negative. By then, the child’s tongue had swelled.
“She couldn’t even cry,” Tomlins said.
The girl was rushed to the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, where she underwent further testing and was given an intravenous therapy.
“She was very lethargic. She had difficulty opening her eyes,” said Dr. Karen Powers, assistant professor of pediatric neurology at Albany Medical Center. “She couldn’t speak. She had difficulty swallowing. She was profoundly weak. She couldn’t move her arms or legs.”
Powers recognized her symptoms as nearly identical to a case she had seen a few years ago while on a fellowship in Richmond, Va., in which a young child suffered from “tick paralysis.”
“It’s a disorder caused by a neurotoxin secreted most commonly by the American dog tick,” Powers said. “It causes an ascending paralysis. Children will present first with difficulty walking or standing as paralysis ascends. The trunk muscles become involved, and there’s difficulty sitting. Then the face muscles are affected, and they have difficulty speaking and swallowing. Eventually, the respiratory muscles become involved, and that can lead to an inability to breathe. Cases can be fatal.”

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Lyme Disease Symptoms in Animals

Hello all,

Lyme disease symptoms in animals are often very similar to adult symptoms of Lyme disease or Lyme disease symptoms in children. The difficulty detecting symptoms in animals however is that they cannot directly communicate how they are feeling, meaning that you have to be alert to subtle changes in your companion animals’ behaviour, especially if you think that they may have been exposed to Lyme disease infection. Lyme disease has been reported in dogs, cats, horses, cows, and goats and symptoms frequently include fever, lameness, joint soreness, listlessness and fatigue, loss of appetite, and swollen glands. Where infection spreads it can result in problems with the heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system, with younger animals often at risk of acute issues such as kidney failure. Chronic Lyme disease symptoms in animals may include unexplained weight loss, laminitis, spontaneous abortions, and poor fertility, particularly in horses and cows. Some of those caring for animals such as horses and dogs have also noted changes in mood and temperament following Lyme disease, which may be a symptom in itself or could stem from chronic pain from Lyme arthritis, or general fatigue and malaise. Just as in humans with Lyme disease, the symptoms in animals are likely to be intermittent and variable, making it difficult to judge whether they are all part of the same condition or are a reaction to long walks, other infection, environmental conditions, nutritional deficiencies, or other medical issue. The initial signs of Lyme disease may also be difficult to detect with any rash often concealed by an animal’s coat, and signs of fatigue frequently dismissed as a simple reaction to a long country walk or being away from home on a camping trip, for example.

Where Lyme disease is suspected in an animal it is important to seek medical attention and assessment as soon as possible in order to begin treatment. Antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease in animals is usually very effective, especially when started promptly, and most animals recover and experience no long-term adverse effects. Where treatment is delayed there may be more severe damage which is more difficult to repair and may need other medications or treatments to control, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or dialysis.
Lyme Disease Symptoms in Animals – Prevention

Lyme disease prevention is obviously preferable to having to have your animals suffer Lyme disease infection and require treatment. In areas endemic for Lyme disease it is wise to restrict outdoor exposure to ticks for all family members, including any animals in the house. This can mean putting up deer fences, clearing shrubbery and leaf piles around the house, keeping grass short, and avoiding areas of dense vegetation when out walking or camping. Prodigious use of tick-repellents is also wise, with permethrin very effective for tick control. Discussing tick control products with your veterinarian will help in making decisions to safeguard your pets’ health and that of the rest of the family who may be exposed to ticks brought into the home on the coats of pets. Although Lyme disease is not contagious it may be transmitted to several family members from just one tick that is brought into the house.

Vigilance is of utmost importance, with both dogs and cats best checked daily for the presence of ticks. Brushing the animals’ fur over a light colored surface can help to identify any ticks that may be brushed off in order to destroy them safely. Ticks are most commonly found on the head and neck of an animals along with the ears, toes, armpits, and groin where ticks can hide and feed unobserved. Ticks are very small however and may be disguised against an animal’s fur. Where a tick feeds for a number of days it is likely to become more visible as it swells to the size of a small grape. An engorged tick is more likely to have been in place for a longer time and to have spread Borrelia bacteria and Lyme disease. Monitoring for symptoms in any animal from whom a tick has been removed is of paramount importance although Lyme disease symptoms in animals may take several weeks or months to appear.

Celebrities with Lyme Disease

Patients with Lyme disease often report dissatisfaction with how their case has been (mis)handled by medical professionals and the medical establishment in general. Many have called on celebrities with Lyme disease to use their exposure to raise Lyme awareness and force changes in how the disease is diagnosed and treated. There are many famous people rumored to have Lyme disease, or to have overcome the condition, as well as a handful who have openly admitted to having been seriously affected by the infection with the spirochaetal Lyme disease bacteria. Writers with Lyme disease

A number of authors have gone on record stating that they suffered (or continue to suffer) from Lyme disease, perhaps because the cognitive effects of Lyme have such a profound result on a writer’s ability to continue working. Maintaining a handle on intricate plot development and the finer points of your protagonist’s character clearly suffer immensely when neuroborreliosis has confounded your short-term memory and your concentration is non-existent. Rebecca Wells, author of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is one such author, who faced diagnoses of dystonia, epilepsy, and was even encouraged to simply take antidepressants to clear up her symptoms.

Perhaps the most vocal of Lyme disease advocates who are also authors is Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, amongst other books. Tan is still affected by the condition after contracting the infection in 1999. Details of her experience with Lyme disease are given on the author’s website ( and included flu-like illness, numbness and tingling in the extremities, neck stiffness, insomnia, rapidly vacillating blood sugar levels, and fourteen brain lesions in her frontal and parietal lobes. A New York Times Bestselling writer, Tan possibly explains the cognitive effects of Lyme disease better than most: “By day, my memory was held together with friable threads, my concentration was as easy to disperse as blown dust…”. Such Lyme disease symptoms will be familiar to many patients.
Another writer having suffered with Lyme disease is the Pullitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. Walker has documented her struggle with Lyme disease in an essay entitled ‘The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult’, written and published in 1996. At the time Alice Walker became symptomatic with Lyme disease she was filming The Color Purple and the problems she experienced had a profound effect on her relationship (which eventually broke down) as well as her ability to work. Walker has become something of a Lyme disease advocate since her experience, despite having been effectively cured of the condition with appropriate treatment.

Singers and Actors with Lyme Disease

Daryl Hall, of Hall and Oates fame, is possibly the most famous singer having suffered from Lyme disease. Hall was diagnosed in 2006 after becoming extremely ill whilst on stage and actually stumbling off stage with a fever of 102 degrees. The rest of the duo’s July tour was cancelled as Hall returned to New York for treatment. As Hall was treated promptly with antibiotics he appears to have no lasting effects from the illness, a familiar story with many celebrities who are lucky enough to be able to afford extensive and speedy health-care in contrast to many with chronic Lyme disease.

Neneh Cherry is another celebrity affected by Lyme disease; the singer contracted the infection around 1990 and Lyme disease prevented her from doing much work until 1992 during a slow convalescence from the infection.
Meadow Soprano faced a number of terrifying scenarios in the HBO series The Sopranos, but the actor who played her, Jamie-Lynn Sigler described her ordeal with Lyme disease in her memoir ‘Wise Girl’. Sigler contracted Lyme disease when she was nineteen and filming the series in Hamburg, Sussex County, at the height of the cult TV show’s popularity. Initial symptoms included tingling in her feet which rapidly progressed to paralysis of her legs. She spent five days in Long Island’s North Shore Hospital while doctors desperately tried to diagnose her condition, eventually treating her with appropriate antibiotics. Sigler apparently suffers no ill-effects as a result of her terrifying experience but has said that “It was such a life-altering experience… I realized it could all be taken away in a moment.“

Richard Gere is another casualty of Lyme disease, although he also appears to be cured of the disease with no chronic effects. Gere was diagnosed with Lyme disease as he was about to start filming ‘Autumn in New York’ with Winona Ryder. The infection laid him low for a week but the actor was quickly diagnosed and treated. Talking to friends about the experience Gere allegedly said “This is one scary disease. I felt as though every ounce of strength had gone from my body. Within hours I could barely lift my head from the pillow.”
Archer Wins Gold after Lyme Paralysis

Archery champion Mel Clarke has had a rough ride during her career, with an extremely debilitating case of Lyme disease almost proving fatal as she attended the World Archery Championships in America in 2003. Clarke, ranked second in the world at the time, quickly became ill during competition and within minutes was unconscious and rushed to hospital. The then 23yr-old was connected to a life-support machine in hospital with doctors fearing for her life. Unconscious for nearly two weeks, Clarke awoke to find herself on a ventilator and being tube-fed.

The world champion archer already suffered from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (an arthritic condition) and was left paralysed from the waist down and blind in one eye after her battle with Lyme disease. Despite these considerable obstacles, and doctors telling her that she would never shoot an arrow again, Mel Clarke is now one of Britains’ top Paralympians with six Paralympic world records to add to her ten national able-bodied records.
Other Famous Lyme Disease Patients

Other celebrities with Lyme disease include Brooke Landau, freelance reporter and producer most famous for her work on the Today Show. Landau gave an interview to NBC because she “wanted to talk to others because I would not have been sick for 7 years if the insurance companies didn’t make money off of sick people.” Landau had a congenital heart defect, a possible reason why she was so badly affected by Lyme disease which can cause Lyme carditis.
Perhaps the most famous person to have revealed their brush with ticks is George W. Bush. Medical records released by the White House showed that the former president was successfully treated for early localized Lyme disease after his doctors spotted the Lyme disease rash, erythema migrans. The president’s love of mountain-biking is likely the cause of his exposure to ticks and some have blamed the infamous malpropisms and linguistic oddities uttered by George W. Bush on the cognitive effects of Lyme disease. The seeming simplicity of Bush’s Lyme disease case meant that the former president did nothing to aid other Lyme disease patients during his time in office and one wonders what would have happened had he experienced symptoms of chronic Lyme disease. Actress Parker Posey, and bushcraft expert Ray Mears are other famous people with Lyme disease stories who are doing more to highlight the condition; hopefully their media exposure can help bring about positive change.

Bacterium linked to bowel cancer

A type of bacterium known to cause dental decay and skin ulcers may also be linked to bowel cancer, scientists suspect.

Two independent research teams have now found the bug Fusobacterium in colon tumours.

It's not yet clear if the pathogen might cause cancerous changes or whether it is an incidental finding, they told Genome Research journal.

If it is to blame, antibiotics might be able to treat it and prevent cancer.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK after after breast and lung.

Although the exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown, there are certain factors that increase risk, such as a strong family history of the disease and older age.

It may be that Fusobacterium infection can be added to that list, according to the experts, but they say much more work is needed to establish this.

The infection has already been linked with a gut condition called ulcerative colitis which is itself a risk factor for bowel cancer.

Continue reading the main story
Early warning signs and symptoms
A persistent change in normal bowel habit, such as going to the toilet more often and diarrhoea, especially if you are also bleeding from your back passage
Bleeding from the back passage without any reason, particularly over the age of 50
A lump in your tummy or a lump in your back passage felt by your doctor
Unexplained iron deficiency in men or in women after the menopause
Unexplained extreme tiredness

And other cancers are known to be linked with certain bacteria and viruses - for example, HPV and cervical cancer.

The first study, led by Dr Robert Holt from Simon Fraser University in Canada, identified Fusobacterium's hallmark in RNA present in bowel cancer tumours. RNA is genetic material similar to DNA which is involved in transmitting and translating the genetic code.

The other team, led by Dr Matthew Meyerson from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, US, found microbial sequences of DNA indicative of Fusobacterium.

Together, they looked at more than 100 samples of healthy and cancerous bowel tissue.

Sarah Williams, of Cancer Research UK, said the research gave a clue about the environment in which bowel cancer grows, but added: "It's early days and we look forward to the results of more specific, in-depth studies.

"In the meantime, people can reduce their risk of bowel cancer by not smoking, cutting down on alcohol, keeping a healthy weight, being active, reducing the amount of red and processed meat in their diet and eating plenty of fibre."


Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by several tick-borne bacterial species in the genus Ehrlichia (pronounced err-lick-ee-uh) which were first recognized in 1935. Over the next several decades, since these veterinary pathogens that caused disease in dogs, cattle, sheep, goats, and horses were identified. Currently, three species of Ehrlichia in the United States and one in Japan are known to cause disease in humans; others will likely be recognized in the future as methods of detection improve.

Human Erhlichioses

There are two major types of human ehrlichiosis in the U.S.; human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), caused by E. chaffeensis; and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), caused by E. phagocytophila. Clinically, they are difficult to differentiate. Symptoms for both include fever, headache, malaise, and muscle aches. Rashes occur more frequently with HME than HGE. Treatment for both are with antibiotics in the tetracycline family, most commonly doxycycline. Fatalities are rare (2-3% of diagnosed cases), but can occur as the result of complications from infection. Complete diagnosis requires serological or molecular tests to differentiate Ehrlichia species, but treatment should begin after clinical diagnosis. Asymptomatic infections probably occur with all Ehrlichia. Improved diagnostic tools and an increased awareness of ehrlichiosis are revealing that these infections are more common than previously suspected.

Equine and Canine Ehrlichiosis

Both horses and dogs are susceptible to Ehrlichia, although the species involved vary (see below for details). In dogs, the clinical signs for different types of ehrlichiosis are similar and difficult to separate clinically. These include fever, epilepsy, incoordination, lethargy, anemia, and bleeding episodes. Asymptomatic infections are probably common. The clinical signs in horses vary more between the two types of ehrlichiosis. Signs of equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis (EGE, E. phagocytophila) include fever, lethargy, anorexia, ataxia and limb edema. Equine monocytic ehrlichiosis (Potomac horse fever, E. risticii) most often manifests as colitis (inflamation of the colon), resulting in diarrhea, colic, loss of appetite, depression, and possibly laminitis.

Biology of Ehrlichia

Ehrlichia are bacteria, related to Rickettsia, and are obligate intracellular parasites, meaning they can not survive outside of a cell. These bacteria have only recently begun to receive much research attention, and there are still many questions about their transmission cycles and reservoir hosts. There are likely to be taxonomic revisions of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma as further research occurs. Many Ehrlichia are tick-borne, although there are some species which use other invertebrates as intermediate hosts, such as snails and helminths. The transmission cycles for some Ehrlichia species have not yet been determined.

Ehrlichia are often differentiated based on the mammalian cell type they infect. Monocytes, granulocytes, and neutrophils are most frequently involved, and the common name of the resulting disease reflects the cell type (e.g. monocytic or granulocytic ehrlichiosis). More than one species of Ehrlichia can cause disease in most vertebrate hosts.

Species of Ehrlichia in the U.S.

Ehrlichia chaffeensis

Disease: humans (HME), rarely monocytic erhlichiosis in dogs.

Vectors: Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick); possibly Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)

Distribution: HME has been diagnosed from every state in the U.S. except the Dakotas. It is more common in the southeastern U.S., largely congruent with the distribution of A. americanum.

Reservoir hosts: probably white-tailed deer, rodents and/or dogs.

Ehrlichia phagocytophila

Disease: granulocytic ehrlichiosis in humans (HGE), horses (EGE), dogs, cattle.

Vector: In the eastern U.S., Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick or deer tick). Elsewhere, other members of the I. ricinus group (I. ricinus, I. pacificus, I. persulcatus).

Distribution: U.S., Europe. In the U.S., it has been reported from areas where I. scapularis and I. pacificus are present, predominately in the northeast, midwest and California. Cases have been identified in Florida, but the level of transmission is unclear.

Reservoir hosts: rodents, possibly deer.

A note on species nomenclature: Initially, the agent of HGE was identified as an Ehrlichia but not named. Later, it was determined that the agent of HGE, E. equii (agent of equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis), and E. phagocytophila (agent of ehrlichiosis in cattle and deer in Europe), were genetically almost identical. The name E. phagocytophila has priority, and all three are now generally considered as E. phagocytophila. Some literature may differentiate between the three, and revision of the group is likely to change some generic and specific names.

Ehrlichia canis

Disease: primarily dogs (canine monocytic ehrlichiosis).

Vectors: Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick), possibly A. americanum.

Distribution: worldwide.

Ehrlichia ewingii

Disease: primarily dogs (canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis). Human infection is rare.

Vectors: unknown, but likely to be R. sanguineus or A. americanum.

Distribution: primarily the southcentral states in the United States.

E. risticii

Disease: Horses (Potomac horse fever or equine monocytic ehrlichiosis); has also been isolated from dogs. An equine vaccine is available, but protection is of short duration and booster inoculations are required.

Vector: unknown but not tick-borne. Snails and helminths may be involved as intermediate hosts.

Distribution: much of North America, particular the east coast; Europe. More common along major waterways and in summer.

Other Ehrlichia

Other Ehrlichia have been described and may be agents of disease for livestock and wild animals. The taxonomic status of some of these are unclear and the transmission cycles are largely unknown.

Florida Situation

Typically, there are 1-5 reported cases of human ehrlichiosis in Florida each year. More cases probably occur, but are not severe enough to seek medical attention or are not confirmed by laboratory tests. Veterinary cases are not always reported, but both canine and equine ehrlichiosis also occur in Florida.

In August 2001 an unusual cluster of 4 ehrlichiosis cases in Jefferson county occurred, prompting the county health office to declare a medical alert. The conditions that led to this cluster are unknown, but it is likely to be related to tick populations and tick-human contact. The species of Ehrlichia involved was confirmed in one case, and is probable in the others, as E. chaffeensis.

Several species of ticks which transmit Ehrlichia spp. are present in Florida. These include I. scapularis, A. americanum, and D. variablis.

Prevention and Management

As with any vector-borne pathogen, the primary disease preventative measure is to minimize contact with the vectors. For humans, protective clothing, such as long pants and socks tucked into pants will reduce tick contact; repellents containing DEET are effective against most ticks. Permethrin-based repellents can be sprayed on boots and clothing. For dogs, there are various treatments in sprays, spot-ons and collars (active ingredients include permethrin, fipronil, amitraz). Permethrin and pyrethroid based sprays and spot-ons for horses will reduce tick bites.

For all host species, thorough tick checks and grooming to remove attached ticks will reduce transmission of tick-borne pathogens. Use fine-tipped forceps to remove ticks; grasp the tick near the skin and pull straight back. Do not squeeze the abdomen or apply heat or petroleum products; this may cause the tick to regurgitate into the host!

Tick population reduction is difficult and it is unclear how effective it will be in reducing infection rates. Various methods have been tested, including vegetation management, acaracide treatment, host exclusion, and host treatment. Treatment of hosts, via treated feed or feeding stations that apply acaricide to hosts, are promising methods for population reduction of ticks which feed on deer.

Further Information

Bakken, J. S. and J. S. Dumler. 2001. Proper nomenclature for the HGE agent. Emerging Infectious Diseases 7: 486.

CDC's Health Topics:

McQuiston, J. H. et al. 1999. The Human ehrlichioses in the United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases 5: 635-642. vol5no5/mcquiston.htm




This document is Fact Sheet ENY-662 (IN191), one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Serivce, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date first published: February 2001. Reviewed: August 2006. Please visit the EDIS Web site at


Cynthia C. Lord and C. Roxanne Rutledge Connelly, Assistant Professors, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, FL; Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension service.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim Dean.

In Vitro Effectiveness of Samento

A tick-borne, multisystemic disease, Lyme borreliosis caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi has grown into a major public health problem during the last 10 years. The primary treatment for chronic Lyme disease is administration of various antibiotics. However, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment is discontinued. One possible explanation for this is that B. burgdorferi become resistant to antibiotic treatment, by converting from their vegetative spirochete form into different round bodies and/or into biofilmlike colonies. There is an urgent need to find novel therapeutic agents that can eliminate all these different morphologies of B. burgdorferi. In this study, two herbal extracts, Samento and Banderol, as well as doxycycline (one of the primary antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) were tested for their in vitro effectiveness on several of the different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi (spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike colonies) using fluorescent, darkfield microscopic, and BacLight viability staining methods. Our results demonstrated that both herbal agents, but not doxycycline, had very significant effects on all forms of B. burgdorferi, especially when used in combination, suggesting that herbal agents could provide an effective therapeutic approach for Lyme disease patients.

Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary causative agent of Lyme disease, is a spirochetal bacterium that can adopt different inactive forms, such as cystic and granular forms (round bodies), as well as colonylike aggregates both in vivo and in vitro, in the presence of unfavorable conditions such as exposure to the antibiotics commonly used for treating Lyme borreliosis.1-4 Unfortunately, when B. burgdorferi is in these inactive forms, conventional antibiotic therapy will not destroy the bacteria.3 Still to date, the frontline treatment for Lyme disease is administration of pharmaceutical antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline, clarithromycin, penicillin G, and ceftriaxone.4,5 Many studies have shown that in spite of continued and high-dose antibiotic therapy, chronic Lyme disease is not treated successfully in many cases.6 Also, in the absence of ongoing antibiotic treatment, relapse is common.7,8 This means that even after antibiotic treatment, the host immunity fails to prevent recurrence.8 One possible explanation for this clinical observation is the presence of different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi, which mayprotect it from the antibacterial therapy. Soon after treatment, relapse is observed, most likely because the B. burgdorferi can revert to the spirochetal form. Furthermore, the cost of antibiotic treatment, especially when administered intravenously, is substantial. Antibiotic therapy may also cause multiple undesirable side effects.9 Thus, there is an urgent need for novel, more efficient, and more cost-effective treatment approaches that can efficiently eliminate all forms of B. burgdorferi.
There is an alternative clinical treatment option gaining wide use, called Cowden Condensed Support Program, that utilizes several herbal extracts designed to eliminate microbes in Lyme disease patients. Richard Horowitz, MD, president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF), has prescribed this protocol for over 2000 of his patient and reports that it has been effective for more than 70% of them. The two herbal agents from the Cowden Condensed Support Program selected for this study are Samento (a pentacyclic chemotype of Cat's Claw [Uncaria tomentosa] that does not contain tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids), with reported antibacterial and antiviral properties, and Banderol (Otoba sp.), known to have antibacterial, antiprotozoal and anti-inflammatory effects.10-12 Both herbal agents are used during the first two months of Cowden Condensed Support Program, then in rotation with other antimicrobials for the duration of this 6-month protocol.
n this study, we evaluated these natural antimicrobial herbal extracts as well as doxycycline (one of the primary pharmaceutical antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) for their potential effects on the different forms of B. burgdorferi.

The infectious B31strain of B. burgdorferi used in this study, obtained from American Type Tissue Collection(ATCC# 35210), was culturedin 5% CO2 at 34 oC, in Barbour–Stoener–Kelly H (BSK H) medium supplemented with 6% rabbit serum (Sigma, St. Louis, Missouri) to midlogarithmic stage (2 × 107 cells/ml). Samento and Banderol were obtained from Nutramedix LLC (Jupiter, Florida). Doxycycline was obtained from Sigma. A wide range of concentrations of Samento and Banderol were initially tested to determine the effective concentrations (1:100–1:1000 dilutions). For doxycycline, a concentration 10× higher than the reported minimum bactericidal concentration (250 µg/ml) was used.13 Triplicate test tubes containing BSK H medium, with and without the appropriately diluted antimicrobial agents, were inoculated with a final density of 5 × 106 cells/ml of the test organism.

Direct cell counting methods with Petroff-Hausser counting chambers and morphological studies using fluorescent and darkfield microscopic techniques, as well as LIVE/DEAD BacLight Bacterial Viability Assay (Life Technologies Corp, Carlsbad, California), were utilized to assess the effect of the antimicrobial agents. For statistical analyses, one sample paired T-test was performed using NCSS statistical software (NCSS LLC, Kaysville, Utah).
In the first set of experiments, we tested the in vitro susceptibility of the spirochete and round-body forms of the B. burgdorferi B31 strain to Samento and Banderol extracts for 96 hours, then direct cell counting and darkfield morphological evaluation methods were used to measure the effects of the antimicrobial agents. For both herbal extracts, the dilution of 1:400 most efficiently eliminated both the spirochetal and round-body forms (Figure 1A and 1B). However, when we used the combination of Samento and Banderol extracts, 1:300 dilution showed the most effectiveness, and this concentration was chosen for further study (Figure 1C). As a negative control, 0.25% ethanol treatment was also included in all experiments, because these herbal extracts contain ~25% ethanol to transport the nutrients into the cells and for stability.

In these experiments, we also compared the effect of Samento and Banderol with doxycycline, the most common antibiotic treatment agent for Lyme disease treatment in a 96-hour treatment period. Our results showed that doxycycline (250 µg/ml) was very effective in eliminating the spirochetal form of B. burgdorferi, but it significantly increased the round-body forms. Comparing this doxycycline data with that of the herbal extracts, Banderol and the combination of Samento and Banderol (1:300) were more efficient in eliminating both the spirochetal and round-body forms of B. burgdorferi in vitro (Figures 1A–C).

In the next set of experiments, we evaluated the effect of the different antimicrobial agents on biofilmlike colonies of B. burgdorferi. The cultures were treated as described above for 96 hours and stained with BacLight fluorescent viability stains, which can help visualize the effects of the antimicrobial agents on the bacterial cells (Figure 2). The green fluorescent stain (SYTO 9, with excitation/emission maxima of about 480/500 nm) colors healthy bacteria that have intact membranes, thus staining live cells; and the red dye (propidium iodide with excitation/emission maxima of about 490/635 nm) colors
In the absence of antimicrobial agents, B. burgdorferi is forming biofilmlike colonies (Figure 2A) with mainly live bacterial cells. In the presence of Samento extract (1:300), the colonies were significantly smaller and less organized (Figure 2B), but they did stain with green dye, indicating that live cells remained. In the presence of Banderol extracts, the size of colonies did not show any reduction; however, the cells inside the colonies are >90% dead.

In the presence of both herbal extracts, no sign of any colony formation was observed in the cultures, but we found evidence of a few individual nonmotile but green spirochetes and round bodies. In the presence of doxycycline (250 µg/ml), the average colony size was increased and contained mainly live round-body forms.

In this study, our working hypothesis was that for an efficient therapy, we have to find antimicrobial agents that can eliminate all the forms of B. burgdorferi. During the course of Borrelia infection, the bacteriumcan shift among the different forms, converting from the spirochete form to the others when presented with an unfavorable environment and reverting to the spirochete when the condition is again favorable for growth.1-4 To successfully eradicate B. burgdorferi, antimicrobial agents should eliminate all those forms, including the spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike colonies.
Here we have provided evidence that two natural antimicrobial agents (Samento and Banderol extracts) had significant effect on all three known forms of B. burgdorferi bacteria in vitro. We have also demonstrated that doxycycline, one of the primary antibiotics used in the clinic to treat Lyme disease, only had significant effect on the spirochetal form of B. burgdorferi.5
Our later results might provide some explanation for why relapse is so common after discontinuing antibiotic therapy. For example, some of the recent reports on animal experiments demonstrated that although pharma­ceutical antibiotics are effective in ameliorating disease, the infection may persist even after seemingly effective therapy, which suggested that Borrelia may remain viable even after antibiotic administration.14-15 If those pharmaceutical antibiotics only eliminate one form of this bacterium, the other forms could be the source of the persistent disease.

The other very important fact needs to be considered for an effective treatment for Borrelia infection: this bacterium typically has a life span ranging from several weeks to six to eight months; therefore, it may take six to eight months for even one generation of Borrelia to become exposed to the antimicrobial for elimination.16 Since the herbal extracts like Samento are reported to be nontoxic, they can be safely taken daily for the long period of time necessary to thoroughly eradicate Borrelia from an infected body.17
In summary, our study has provided in vitro research data on a novel treatment approach using herbal antimicrobial agents to efficiently eradicate B. burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium.

Chart It!

Make a chart of your symptoms! Get some graph paper, on the left-hand column list your symptoms and various affected body parts, and then across the top number the days. Each day, fill in the appropriate squares with the severity of your symptoms. Hurts like crazy? Fill that square in. Hurts just a little? Maybe just put a line across the bottom of the square. Record the worst of each symptom each day. You'll notice that some move gradually up and down, some might appear constant, and others can blink in and out in just a day. Now you have a record. With this record, you can help you and your doctor figure out exactly what to expect when, and even make a prediction on when you'll feel 100% normal again! Instead of being at the mercy of the disease, waking up each morning and wondering "what's the torture of the day going to be?", or wondering "When is it ever going to end?", you could be looking at your chart and knowing exactly what to expect and when! Of course, you still have to map that first cycle, but from there on out you're not just blindly muddling along!

Sometimes interpreting your chart can be difficult. For instance, some body parts may feel fine during the first month or two, only to become painful later on. Reason being, is that they started out numb, and as the bacteria died away the feeling came back to that area. Physical symptoms that started out painful should show themselves fading away with each cycle. Basic energy level should rise each month, although there may only be a slight increase between the first two cycles. Neuro symptoms should also improve slightly each month, but they will be the last ones to finally clear up.

The Lyme bacteria appears to stick very tightly to its cyclical schedule. These cycles tend to be about 21 days in men, 30 days in women. If your symptoms don't appear to be going down with each cycle, then consult your doctor about increasing the antibiotic levels, adding another, switching, or whatever the attack plan they might suggest.

Because the physical symptoms disappear first and the psychological ones are sometimes difficult to measure, your doctor may ask you to begin recording your temperature a few times a day once your symptoms are nearly cleared. When you've gone through a few full cycles without sign of a fever, you're done!

The Lyme bacteria will typically have a peak intensity sometime during its cycle each month. Beginning, middle, or end is a matter of chance and at what point you start your charting. But it can be very frustrating to start your antibiotics on the low end of a cycle, only to find yourself feeling worse and worse as the days go by. Which is why you are keeping a chart! It is completely irrelevant to use day- to day or even week-to-week comparisons for whether you are improving. The only reliable way to tell is to compare each months chart and see if the symptoms are improving overall. Again frustrating, because you really can't tell if you're improving for at least one full cycle. Unless of course, you're one of those miracle Rocephin cures, which is rare. The rest of us suffer for a month, and then begin comparing each month's date to the previous to see if there is improvement.

Typical uncomplicated recovery. Before starting your antibiotics you might find yourself feeling pretty bad, or at the least, not very good. Once you start though:

Oh my God, I'm gonna Die.

Ugh, I feel horrible.

Feeling bad.

Feeling much better.

Wow! I feel pretty good!

Symptoms gone!

Now Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4

This chart assumes many things, mostly that nothing goes wrong, that the choice of antibiotic and its level are correct from the start, etc..It is intended to be an example of how a typical recovery might feel.

The Lyme Disease Cycle. Is not really 30 days precisely. Rather, in women it tends to match their menstrual cycle in number of days. In men the cycle is usually around 21 day. But again, these vary from person to person. The only way to know for sure is to make a chart of your symptoms and then begin looking for patterns.

There are many different strains of Lyme Disease. Fortunately there
is also a variety of antibiotics. The trick is to find the antibiotics which your stain is susceptible to and that your body will tolerate in high doses. This can be extremely discouraging, to spend weeks or months on a particular antibiotic, only to figure out that it isn't working. This is one reason that Lyme Disease is frequently treated with two different antibiotics at the same time. Another is that doubling up provides a much higher kill rate. If the
first set of antibiotics you try doesn't seem to be doing much, don't be afraid to ask you doctor for a few short trials of some others. Try each one for three days. Remember how you felt each third day. Continue with the one/ones which hit you the hardest.

Cephalosporins - When they work, they work extremely well. This family is effectively an "instant" kill, meaning that it can kill the bacteria regardless of the stage of the its life-cycle. Naturally, like everything else, they're more effective during the reproductive cycle. But, essentially, this class of antibiotics pokes holes in the bacterial cell wall and causes the little buggers to bleed to death.

Penicillins - This class blocks cell wall formation during the reproductive cycle of the bacteria. They are a slow-kill antibiotic, but usually highly effective.

Cyclenes - Generally gum up the DNA of the bacteria. Without functioning DNA, the bacteria can't reproduce or grow.

Advanced Macrolides - Block protein synthesis in the bacteria. Without proteins, the bacteria have a difficult time doing much of anything.

Metronidazole - Does three things: gums up the bacterial DNA,
suffocates the bacteria that may be in anaerobic mode, and breaks their little legs so they can't run and hide (almost literally! The bacteria use their flagellum to escape attacking white blood cells, but without functioning flippers, they become easy targets). One possible problem with this antibiotic, is that it may be a tad too useful. By enabling the immune system to see and catch the bacteria the body is suddenly hit with the realizationthat there is tremendous infection going on. The immune system response can be intense. Possibly a great choice for "mop-up" later in treatment.

Antibiotics dosage and duration.
Typical bacteria have very short cycle times, usually measured in hours or minutes. This means, that an antibiotic that is given at a standard rate to produce an effective 10-20% kill rate can kill a typical infection in just a matter of a few days. With each cycle the antibiotic kills some percentage of whatever bacteria are still left. When the numbers get low enough your body cleans up the stragglers, thus keeping the "percentage of what's left" from becoming one of those "limits that never reach zero" problems that you dreaded back in high school algebra. The Lyme bacteria behaves the same way. With each cycle the standard rate of antibiotics will kill some percentage of whatever is there. Except that the Lyme bacteria has a cycle time measured in weeks! (3-4) It could take years to kill the infection at standard rates! Antibiotics are dosed quite high, and often combined, in order
to achieve the highest kill rate possible without killing the patient (you) in the process. But even forcing a very high kill rate can still take 4-6 months before the levels are brought down far enough for your body to overwhelm the stragglers. The other reason that antibiotic levels are kept very high for Lyme Disease treatment is that the bacteria isn't just in one or two easy-to reach places. It's everywhere. That includes the central nervous system (CNS) and inside cells, joints, etc, etc....Many antibiotics have a difficult time
reaching these places in concentrations high enough to effectively kill the disease in these areas. Don't let your doctor under-dose treatment options and effective dosage rates. Duration, or how long you stay on the high rate of antibiotics is just as important. A typical infection by a typical bacteria is beaten to death for many cycles past when it should have all been dead, just to make sure. Why not the same with Lyme? Currently, you'll be lucky if your doctor agrees to one full cycle symptom-free. Press for one full cycle fever-free. If you manage to stay on antibiotics for anything after that, consider yourself blessed. But 3-4 fever- free cycles, assuming that you're back living a healthy lifestyle and doing what you can to keep your immune system pumped up in top condition, well, that should to it. Time to stop and see if it's really as dead as we all hope it is.

Late Stage Lyme Disease, Patient Information

Can't lie to ya. Rough road ahead. In fact, getting well may be about
the hardest and most difficult thing you'll ever do. But it's worth
it! Stick with it! Never give up hope!The first thing you should know is that it gets worse before it gets better. It can in fact get a lot worse before it gets better. Itdepends on how long you've had it, how much of the bacteria has builtup, what strain you have, and many other factors as well.

The Lyme bacteria gives off a chemical toxin when it dies. When the antibiotics start killing them, the toxin levels in your body will soar and the symptoms can become intense. Physical symptoms includepain, numbness, swelling, tremors, and a myriad of others if internalorgans are significantly affected. The toxin affects your mind aswell. Typical symptoms include insomnia, confusion, disorientation,depression, anxiety and panic attacks. These will all go away as youget well!

As if the toxin effects weren't good enough, another fact about theLyme bacteria is that it grows and reproduces slowly. At first thatmay seem a good thing, except that antibiotics are generally able tokill it only during certain stages of it's life cycle. The end resultbeing that it takes a long time to get well. usually months. Therehave been cases of "miracle" cures in just a couple weeks, but theseare rather rare. Just don't give up hope! Keep at it! Keep trying! Ittakes a long time, but being happy and healthy again is worth it!

Of course we'd all probably like to have our mind functioning properly again as the first step in getting well. Unfortunately, that won't happen. Your mind returns last, when just about all the bacteria are dead. Physical symptoms like pain and numbness go first, then the bacteria that didn't cause pain, and then, finally, your
head begins to clear up. This can be very disconcerting when your body feels good but your head is still reeling. Hang in there!
When you first start on effective antibiotics, you'll be in for quite an unpleasant surprise. Within a day or two you'll feel like you've been hit by a fully loaded military cargo jet flying at full
Your symptoms, including the ones you didn't even know you had, will flare up intensely. Try hard to tough it out. But if you find that you absolutely positively can't, and this is not too
unusual, ask your doctor about lowering the dosage for a while, or pulsing on and off until you get through the worst of it. Sticking on the medication as prescribed, always taking them right on time, is your best bet for getting through it as quickly as possible. Don't give those nasty little bacteria an inch! This can be really tough, because it takes at least a few weeks (6-8), and sometimes much more to get through the brutally hard part.

If when you start your antibiotics, your symptoms don't flare severely, including ones you didn't know you had, then you may have astrain that is resistant to that particular antibiotic.Or, perhaps, your body is fighting the antibiotic and not letting it do its job properly. This is one reason that two antibiotics are often used at the same time. It is a judgment call between you and your doctor as to whether the antibiotics are being effective, and what might need to be done if they aren't.

Which set of symptoms, the physical or the psychological, will be the
most difficult to handle is entirely up to the individual. Are you
more physically oriented? Or are you a thinker?
Some people are so happy-go-lucky and full of faith that nothing at all bothers them. In fact, many people are. You can be like them too. Just don't bother to worry about it! You're on the right road. The road to being happy, healthy and normal again!

Is it contagious?
The answer is: no one knows. Spouses and siblings tend to all travel in the same places, so it is hard to tell if the disease was transmitted person to person or just infectious bites by
different ticks. The long answer is: that since it's a blood-borne disease, as long as you don't go around biting people and bleeding on them, then no, it's not. As always though, better safe than sorry.

A few annoyances you may encounter along the way, and should be made
aware of if you're the worrying sort:

1. Confusion/Disorientation. Your short-term memory will probably be taking a nice long vacation. You may find yourself confused about where you are and what you're doing every time the scenery changes. Like when walking from one room to another, or driving (DON'T!). Sometimes even when just sitting or lying around doing nothing. It could also be even more intense, with temporary bouts of amnesia. But it's a fact of life that vacations do end. This one tends to be about the most disconcerting psychological symptom for most people. Again
though, it's caused by the toxin release from the dying bacteria. It
will get better and eventually go away!

2. Numbness. Various parts of your body, both those you knew were infected and those you didn't, may go numb for a period of time. Quite often it's just for a day or so, but can also last for many weeks, until enough of the bacteria in that location have been killed that the toxin level finally drops. Don't panic! They all come back! (The numb body parts, that is!) They'll eventually switch from numb to painful, and then finally to normal.

3. Pain. Same as 2), but may be sporadic pains instead of numbness.

4. It's in more places than you know. While you are on effective antibiotics the bacteria are NOT spreading. Never had a problem with your back, but now it hurts? Forearms maybe? Wrists? They hurt now because the bacteria were there all along, and now that they're dying they're releasing toxins. It's the toxin from the dying bacteria that causes the numbness and pain. Dead bacteria is a good thing!

5. Insomnia. And not just at night either. You may find it impossible to nap during the day at all. You may get to enjoy every last minute of the worst part. As the toxin levels fall though, you'll be able to sleep better and better.

6. Hallucinations and voices. These can occur during times when your mind and body are exhausted but the toxins won't let you sleep. You may be trying to rest, but your brain gets stuck halfway between sleep and awake, dreams and reality mix. Better sleep at night, along with less activity during the day, should help these symptoms disappear. Ask your Doctor about sleeping aids you can use if necessary. However, if you get these symtpoms while you're wide awake and have gotten reasonable sleep, consult your doctor immediately.

7. Tremors, shakes, and spasms. Can occur in various places to varying degrees. The length of time they last varies as well. These may be caused by bacteria dying near, and hence irritating, a nerve which controls motion.

8. Sweats, hot, cold, day and night. Get used to them. You might consider adding just a bit of extra salt to your diet so that you don't become salt/sodium deficient.

9. Fireworks, popcorn, or pin-cushion pains. These tend to feel like someone has picked a part of your body and decided to jab it with a pin a few times. Then they go and pick another spot. These are probably just irritations of pain nerves, or perhaps bacteria dying inside a nerve itself. You might notice that they tend to occure in
your most affected areas, and that more effective antibiotics cause more of them.

10. Heart palpitations or irregularities. Notify your doctor immediately so that they can determine if the irregularities are severe enough to be dangerous. In some extreme cases, people have been put on a temporary pace maker until the worst of the symptoms have disappeared

11. Dizziness and Vertigo. It's everywhere else, why be surprised that it's in your ears? Symptoms here can range from a feeling of "walking through jello" to complete loss of orientation.

12. Temporary Amnesia. Really this is just an extension of memory loss symptoms, except that instead of just losing your short-term memory, mid and sometimes long-term memory can go for a hike as well. These symptoms can last anywhere from just a few minutes, to a few weeks, and will probably only occur during the first month or so of treatment.

13. Aliens Under My Skin. usually felt in the forearms or shins, but can occur anywhere, this feels for all the world like little turtle- shaped aliens crawling around in the affected area. These are actually associated with an attack by your own immune system against the bacteria, and are probably the result of localized swelling and toxin releases from the bacteria dying under the attack.

14. Sudden bouts of weakness and symptoms flares. Your body is fighting the bacteria alongside the antibiotics. But your body isn't
always a nice steady predictable stream. Occasionally, and even frequently during the first cycle or two, your body will attack. Sometimes with an all-out-vengeance that will literally leave your knees weak and you panting for breath. In extreme cases, this can actually cause fainting. This can be very disconcerting if your're not expecting it. As long as your heart rate and blood pressure are OK, then you're' probably fine. Go over your drug allergy checklist and consult your doctor if you think it might be a delayed reaction to antibiotics. Normally, this feeling will drop in intensity withina few minutes.

15. Headaches. Can range from not at all if you're really lucky, tosome really intense head-splitters. Do whatever you can to survive them.

16. Disconnection. Close your eyes, now where is your arm? OK, look at it now. Doesn't really feel like it looks where it is, does it? The extreme of this symptom is a complete out-of-body experience. As toxin levels fall, you should become more and more re-connected to your body again. And there you were thinking that you were just getting really good at your Yoga exercises.......

17. Panic Attacks. You don't want to get these, really, you don't. It's a feeling of "Oh my God, I'm going to be like this forever, I can't take it please, somebody just kill me and get it over with..." The only possible good thing about this symptom is that it goes away.

18. Bright Colours. Your pupils may dilate a bit. Indeed, you may find yourself wearing sunglasses, inside!

19. Hypersensitive Hearing. Your ears may become hypersensitive to sound. In extreme cases, sound, even very quiet ones, can become painful.

20. Mood Swings, Irritability/Short Temper, Erratic Behaviour. Again, all due to the toxin's effect on your mind. These will all clear up as you get well. These symptoms can be especially difficult for those around you to deal with.

21. Yo-Yo. You'll be feeling like one. Up one minute, down the next. You might wake up feeling great one day, only to find that a couple hours later you're back feeling horrible again. UP, down, up, down, all around. Slowly, month after month, the downs will stop being quite so low, and eventually go away.

22. Whatever Else. Everyone is different, and the disease is quite well known these days for just how differently it affects different people. Any other significant symptoms that you are concerned about should be discussed with your doctor.

HELPFUL HINTS and how to cope

1. You may need help to get through this. You should not be left alone for long periods of time. Someone needs to be around to help encourage and reassure you along your rough road back to wellness. Your mind will not be working properly, and it's easy to become confused, terrified, and discouraged. Make sure you have someone to talk to when you need them. Just a phone call can help tremendously! Emotional release, if needed, can be good for you! Rare are the ones who can make the journey back to wellness without a few breakdowns along the way. Call around, ask around, find your local lyme disease support groups. Talk to them. That's why they're there. They want to help!

2. Eat! When you finally get through this, you'd certainly like to enjoy life again as soon as possible, wouldn't you? Well you can't do that if you're a shriveled-up little mess. Solid food is best, but may prove difficult for a while.Liquid foods like "Ensure Plus" and "Instant Breakfast" can help keep your calorie intake up. Don't forget your basic "Multi-vitamin & Minerals" either. And eating does much more than just keep your weight up. It provides energy for: your own immune system so it can fight too, for all the healing that has to take place, and energy to help your body process the toxins out.
Eat, and you'll be healthy and happy again that much sooner.

3. Move and Stretch. The worst ting you can do is just sit or lie around all day. Lyme Disease is a deep tissue bug as well as not-so- deep tissue. It likes to hide and live in places that are hard to reach, both for your body and the antibiotics. Stretching and moving around does a number of things: such as providing circulation going and flushing toxins out, you help prevent toxic bulid-up and subsequent possible permanent damage. So if it hurts, stretch it
(gently), move it around, get some circulation in there! You should be gently stretching everything from your nose to your toes at least once an hour while you're awake. Go for a short walk... Even just up and down the driveway, or around the living room a few times will do a world of good. This is extremely important during the first few weeks or so when the toxin levels will sky-rocket!

4. Sleeping aids. Do not use sleeping aids during the first couple weeks or so. As long as you have extreme pain or numbness somewhere that needs to be moved around occasionally you're probably better off rolling around and tossing and turning all night. Once you feel like you can go the night without accumulating severe pain somewhere, then sleeping aids are OK. Naturally, use as little as possible. You do need sleep but you also don't want
permanent toxin damage.

5. Take your medication on time, every time, religiously. Some bacteria takes days to kill. A missed dose may let them recover and restart the clock all over again. Unless, of course, you like suffering......

6. Don't stop once you feel good. Lyme Disease is very slow growing, but the longer you've had it, the deeper into your system it gets. Deep enough such that even the "instant kill" family of cephalosporins antibiotics take time to kill it. Thus it is generally good practice for Lyme patients to continue effect antibiotics for a number of months after symptoms have (seeminglydisappeared. Taking medication when you feel good can be an annoyance, but when you consider what you're going through now, do you really want to do it again?

7. Lyme Disease doesn't just grow in the bloodstream. It tends to enter inside your cells and grow there too. Not all antibiotics can penetrate cell walls to effectively kill the bacteria there. Fortunately, there are a number that can: Suprax, Flagyl, and Biaxin for example. One might consider some time spent on these to help kill any bacteria which might have crossed inside the cell wall barrier.

8. Know the signs of a drug reaction for those drugs you haven't had before. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between a drug reaction and standard Lyme symptoms. Discuss any concerns or unusual symptoms with your doctor.

9. Avoid any anti-inflammatory and anti-pain medication. Mostly at the start of treatment. Inflammation is your body's way of increasing circulation to affected areas. Circulation is what brings the antibiotics in to where they need to go and takes the toxins away. Pain is your body's way of saying "Hey stupid! Move this part around a bit!" You might actually find that anti-inflammatories, though, during the first month or so of treatment, will tend to make joint pains worse. Once past the hard part though, a bit of anti- inflammatory and anti-pain medication is OK.

10. Antibiotic Soap. For shower or bath. Not proven to actually do
anything, but may help to kill the bacteria hiding in the pores of your skin.

11. Contact Lenses. Take them out! Never nap or sleep with your contacts in! It is just as likely that the bacteria is in your eyes, as well as everywhere else. A die-off in your eyes can raise the local toxin levels, but with your contacts in your body, is hindered from flushing it away. The result build-up may cause damage to your eyes. Better safe than sorry! Dig up that dusty old pair of glasses!

12. Depression. Nobody likes feeling depressed. Problem is, that a fair number of people just get that way after fighting the disease for a seeming eternity and still not feeling a whole lot better. Try to find things you can do to occupy yourself and keep your mind off it. Do whatever you can, naturally, to lift your spirits and keep them up. Failing that, it is not out of the question to ask you doctor for a little help. Make sure to avoid anti-depressants that
can add to your insomnia!

13. B-Complex Vitamins. Thse have been shown to significantly help psychological symptoms. They also help the brain repair and protect itself from toxin damage.

14. Injuries. Try to avoid them. The Lyme bacteria thrive on injured body parts. Bruises, sprains, etc., are a feast with an open all-you- can-eat invitation. You might, to amuse yourself once you know the exact length of your cycle, try mapping back specific short-lived pains to the event which caused them!

15. Exercise. Gentle stretching and low-level workouts are OK. But remember that strenuous exercise and hard workouts are actually controlled injury...and injury feeds the bacteria.

16. Yeast Infections - in throat and/or digestive tract. Some antibiotics are more prone than others to causing yeast infections by killing off all your good bacteria. Your doctor should question you about sore throats and intestinal problems each time you visit. These infections can be cured with yet more drugs, or avoided all together by simply asking your pharmacist for "good tummy bacteria", the live ones". Lactobacillus Acidophilus (they're non-prescription) Live Culture yogurt does essentially the same thing, as it contains the very same live bacteria. In either case, make sure to rinse your mouth and throat with water immediately after you eat or drink anything, then swish a bit of your live good bacteria around in your mouth and swallow.

17. Antihistamines. No. No. No. No. No. And most especially not whenon one of the 'Cyclene family of antibiotics. Your immune system is one of the biggest factors in your recovery, one of the big superpowers in the war against disease. The antibiotics will kill some percentage of the bacteria each cycle while your immune system kills off the ones that were weakened. Together, the antibiotics and your body create a team to defeat the bacteria. Antihistamines, like Benadryl, turn off your immune system! All they do is make sure that you suffer longer! Further, the cyclene family of antibiotics doesn't actually kill the bacteria, but rather just stops them from growing and relies on your immune system to kill them.

18. Natural herbs and such. A stroll through your local herbal and natural foods shop will provide you with an amazing array of itmes which claim to do all sorts of good things. Anything that says "boosts your immune system" might be a good idea. Purely optional, although a number of herbal concoctions have actually been shown to do as they claim.

19.Caffeine. Suppresses the immune system, which is very bad. Give up that morning coffee and that afternoon coke.

20. Alcohol. Worse for you than caffeine. Unless you just want to be sick longer, no alcohol!

21. Smoking. Haven't you been lectured about this enough yet? Now
would be a really good time to quit.

22. Rest. You're going to need a lot of it. Even after you begin to feel better, remember your body is still fighting off a rather nasty infection. Don't overdo it. Without sufficient rest, recovery just takes longer.

23.Hot drinks. Let them cool off to luke-warm first. Hot fluids tend to make the dead layers of cells on your tongue rather thick to protect them from the scalding heat. This means more stuff for yeast infections to grow in. 

Alan Steere

Careful investigation supports the theory that the epidemic of ignorance and corresponding lack of treatment has been perpetuated by the CDC as part of Phase II of the deadly Tuskegee Experiment.

Even worse, Phase II is being carried out by the CDC with the aid of its secretive biological warfare group. Where the Phase I experiment denied isolated patients from seeing non-CDC-approved doctors,[i] Phase II involves preventing doctors from treating patients (or even providing an accurate diagnosis--recall the Tuskegee diagnosis of syphilis as “bad blood”[ii]) outside of CDC-approved guidelines published by a medical society known as the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America), on an international basis.

The CDC’s own history of the Tuskegee Experiment describes how the CDC worked with prominent medical societies to gain support for the multi-decade experiment in medical malpractice:

“1969 CDC reaffirms need for study and gains local medical societies' support (AMA and NMA chapters officially support continuation of study).”

So the national agency that was supposed to be protecting the public from a deadly disease was actually in favor of letting it go untreated for experimental reasons and worked with prestigious medical societies to that end!

Tuskegee Phase II is being conducted in a similar manner, including the direct assistance of prominent medical societies through IDSA treatment guidelines[iii] enforced by CDC insiders, who are regularly found to be on the payroll of the pharmaceuticals and insurance industries--both of which can profit enormously[iv] [v] by not treating the many symptoms[vi] caused by the disease.

“One way drug companies have marketed their products is by funding the implementation of guidelines…”

--Civil Action No. 08 CA 11318 DPW

The CDC has used the non-specificity of Lyme symptoms (except for those fortunate enough to manifest the Bull’s Eye rash at the onset of infection[vii]) as an excuse to mislabel the disease and thereby prevent effective diagnosis and treatment.[viii] [ix] As Dr. Brian Fallon summarized:

“Incorrectly labeling these patients as having a functional illness, such as depression, hypochondriasis or a somatization disorder, may result in a delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment. Such delay may lead to further dissemination of the infection, and in some cases severe disability and possibly chronic neurologic damage.”

The further dissemination of symptoms is highly profitable for pharmaceutical companies, while treating the root cause of the disease with off-patent antibiotics is not.[x]

Lyme disease and Biowarfare

In the 1950s, Willy Burgdorfer, who isolated the tick-vectored Lyme disease spirochete and for whom the causative Borrelia is named,[i] worked on artificially forcing Borrelia disease agents (like relapsing fever Borrelias) to infect new tick vectors. (Burgdorfer then used these artificially infected ticks in attempts to infect lab animals.[ii])

He also published papers describing the "occult infections" due to these relapsing fever spirochete disease agents.[iii] In parallel with these studies, he developed production-like methods for transferring diseases to Ixodid ticks,[iv] the same species that spreads the occult Borrelia infection initially called Lyme disease, which Burgdorfer later compared to the relapsing fever Borrelias he had studied.[v]

The lab he conducted this research in and which later isolated the Lyme spirochete[vi] is now a “biosafety level 4” biowarfare research facility,[vii] just like the biowarfare lab at the epicenter of the Lyme Epidemic (Plum Island Animal Disease Center), which conducted outdoor tick research and is suspected of being the source of the Lyme Epidemic. [viii]

Given the manner in which Lyme disease broke out and the deadly manner in which it has been intentionally mismanaged ever since, hard questions must be asked:

When Burgdorfer was developing techniques to artificially expand the host-range of Borrelias to new tick species, and then to lab animals, was he in fact conducting biological warfare research at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory?

Did this research feed in to the tick research that was conducted at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the outdoor biowar test facility for such insect vectors? And was Plum Island,the outdoor test facility for Fort Detrick, the center of the U.S. biological warfare effort?

Was the causative agent of Lyme disease later “discovered” by a military epidemiologist as part of a suspected public relations/containment effort to control information about the burgeoning epidemic and its ties to the military?

Did this effort surrounding the so-called "natural" outbreak of a zoonotic agent lead to an experimental vaccine effort (orchestrated by CDC/EIS biowarfare agents) similar to that which happened in Egypt, when human vaccine experiments were conducted after the "natural" outbreak of Rift Valley fever virus, an outbreak that occurred in the same time-frame as the Lyme disease outbreak?

In the time period leading up to the Lyme Epidemic, Burgdorfer worked for the military in a capacity consistent with this hypothesis: He was a member of the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board investigating insect vectored diseases.[ix] The disastrous non-response to the Lyme Epidemic has been orchestrated by military epidemiologists using their influence in the government, medical infrastructure and media. Was Willy Burgdorfer part of this non-response to the devastating disease named after him?

At a time when desperate patients and persecuted doctors need all the information they can get about the true nature of Lyme disease, Willy Burgdorfer has coyly stated, on film, that he hasn’t told us everything he knows about the disease.

What are you hiding Willy?

Why don’t you tell us what you know?

Until you do, you have the Borrelia BURGDORFERi-infected blood of millions on your hands.

Lyme and mental illness

Microbes are the greatest predator of man. As medical technology improves, there is increasing recognition that infectious disease contributes not only to acute, but also chronic relapsing illness and mental illness. -Robert C. Bransfield, M.D.

Probably the biggest challenge facing those sick with Lyme disease manifesting with psychiatric symptoms is to get the Lyme disease diagnosis in the first place. Many people with Lyme and associated mental dysfunction (this is about 95% of all Lyme sufferers) never get diagnosed properly and are left to struggle with palliative treatment, institutionalization, and basically a life sentence of obscurity and panic.

Even for those with the right diagnosis, for example, Lyme disease infection, symptoms of mental illness are obviously still devastating. I created this video to address some of the common experiences, and some useful solutions / tips, for people who meet this description. Below the video is an excerpt from a book I wrote in 2007 entitled The Lyme-Autism Connection, which further addresses the topic of the connection between Lyme disease and mental illness.
Excerpt: Mental Illnesses and Autism, Lyme Disease
From the book, The Lyme Autism Connection

Symptom similarities between Lyme disease and autism, especially in children, are astounding. Obviously, symptom similarity alone is not a strong enough scientific indicator to implicate Lyme disease in the autism epidemic. However, when considered within the framework of the other arguments presented in this book, symptom similarity becomes an important, central piece of the puzzle.

This chapter was written with three primary goals. First, we will look at the diagnostic procedures used in classifying mental illnesses. Then we will show that a Lyme disease diagnosis overlaps with numerous other mental disorders. Finally, we will show that an autism diagnosis not only overlaps with a variety of different mental illnesses as well, but that they happen to be, in many cases, the same mental illnesses which overlap with Lyme disease. Additionally, the chapter will also cover various data which support the above three points.

Symptoms vs. Syndromes

At first glance, the obvious question to ask in this chapter is whether or not the symptoms of Lyme disease overlap with the symptoms of autism. As you will see, however, this question is much too broad. You will see that Lyme disease is known as the “great imitator” because it can mimic dozens of seemingly unrelated health problems. Lyme disease symptoms overlap with just about every mental illness, so it is not very impressive to show that they also overlap with autism.

For this reason, we will instead take a narrower look at the symptom similarities between Lyme disease and autism, and delve further into analyzing the overlap. Namely, we will not look at individual symptoms the diseases share in common, but instead at entire disease syndromes which the two diseases share in common. For example, we will go further than to just say “Lyme disease and autism both cause headaches.” Rather, we will say that “Lyme disease and autism both manifest as schizophrenia.” A headache is an individual symptom, while schizophrenia is a complex syndrome.

For our purpose of further analyzing the Lyme-autism connection, it is more helpful to look at overlapping disease syndromes instead of just overlapping symptoms because disease syndromes are much more complex, specific, and isolated than are individual symptoms. Many things can cause a headache, such as fatigue, a bad lunch, or a fight with a spouse. So, demonstrating that Lyme disease and autism both cause headaches does not add much support to the Lyme-autism connection. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is not caused by many factors, and cannot be confused with simple triggers like a bad hamburger or emotional stress. By narrowing the comparison down to specific disease syndromes, we can build a much stronger case for the Lyme-autism connection.

Blurred Lines Between Disease Labels

In order to show that both Lyme disease and autism share in common numerous disease syndromes, we must first accept the fact that the diagnostic lines are blurred between autism, Lyme disease, and numerous other mental illnesses, leading to somewhat arbitrary and meaningless guidelines for diagnosing the diseases. For example, someone diagnosed with the label “schizophrenia” may in fact be suffering from Lyme disease, autism, or both. “Schizophrenia” is not a disease; instead it is a disease presentation. The label schizophrenia says nothing about the reason for the disease, or the cause, but instead simply says that a given person is suffering from a collection of physiologic and symptomatic dysfunctions.

It is important to keep this in mind as you think about Lyme disease, autism, and the list of mimicking diseases. You have to ask yourself, “Does the disease label in question tell me anything about what is actually causing this health problem?” Understanding that many of the disease labels used by conventional medicine are actually not indicative of the cause of the disease will help you learn how to adjust your thinking process and see that many “diseases” do not in fact have established, defined boundaries separating them from other “diseases,” but are instead simply a melting pot of symptomatic and physiological characteristics.

Why is this important? Let’s again use the example of a headache. When someone says, “I have a headache,” you would never jump to a conclusion about what is causing the headache unless you knew more about the person’s current circumstances. A headache is not a disease in and of itself; instead it is a list of symptomatic and physiologic properties, namely, pain in the head, and typically, inflammation in the head. We all know that many things can cause headaches, hence, if someone mentions their headache, the next thing you might try to do is play detective to discover what is causing the headache. You might ask the person what they ate for lunch, how much sleep they are getting, or what is happening at work. You would never assume that the cause of their headache is the headache itself. Headaches always have underlying, root causes.

In the same way, if someone has schizophrenia or autism, you should train your mind to play the same detective role. Schizophrenia and autism are no more the cause of a health problem than is a headache. Instead, schizophrenia and autism are just labels for a set of symptomatic and physiologic characteristics. When you begin to adopt this way of thinking, you can see that the lines between various diseases can easily become blurred.

When autism is seen as a set of symptoms rather than a defined “disease,” it leaves a lot more room for questions—questions which can ultimately lead to a better understanding of the disease and its cause(s). Do not passively accept a diagnosis of autism as the final description of your child’s health. You should empower yourself to play detective and get to the bottom of the symptoms, instead of simply accepting the diagnosis and giving up.

If you think about Lyme disease and autism as separate diseases, with distinct boundaries, then the Lyme-autism connection seems improbable. However, if you think of the two diseases accurately, as nothing more than arbitrary labels which encompass a grouping of symptoms, some of which overlap, then the question arises and must be answered: what is the root cause of the disease syndromes? Is the root cause potentially the same?

Now, a clarifying point is in order here. Some diseases certainly do include causative factors in their label. For example, strep throat is caused by…strep bacteria in the throat. The disease label “strep throat” is one which is accurate in its description of causality. Similarly, Lyme disease is caused by Lyme disease bacteria (the scientific name for which is Borrelia burgdorferi). So, when we are looking at the Lyme-autism connection, what we are really asking is whether or not autism shares the same root cause as Lyme disease, namely, a Borrelia infection.

Ok, so this all sounds good in theory, but where is the evidence? Let’s now turn our attention to several scientific studies which provide objective substantiation for the theory we just talked about—the theory that mental disorders have blurred diagnostic lines.

Lyme Disease: The Great Imitator

To substantiate the theory that disease labels are relatively arbitrary and have blurred defining lines, let’s begin by looking at Lyme disease and the many diseases which it mimics.

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry in 2001 published an article in which it was stated that “Children with Lyme disease have…cognitive and psychiatric disturbances…resulting in psycho-social and academic impairments.” According to Dr. Frederic Blanc, of the University of Strasbourg, France, “The neurological and psychiatric manifestations of Borrelia are so numerous that it is called the ‘new great imitator.’ Every part of the nervous system can be involved: from central to peripheral.”

It is difficult to convey just how broad and diverse Lyme disease symptoms can be. As the “new great imitator” (Syphilis was considered the original great imitator), Lyme disease mimics dozens of seemingly unrelated illnesses, from physical disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and arthritis, to psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, depression, bipolar disorder, and more. According to psychiatrists at Columbia University, as published in 1994 in the American Journal of Psychiatry:

“Lyme disease can trigger a broad range of psychiatric reactions, including paranoia, dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, major depression, anorexia nervosa and obsessive–compulsive disorder.”

As you can see, Lyme disease is often the root cause of a long list of diseases. In these cases, there is in fact zero separation between the seemingly distinct diseases on the list—the lines are blurred beyond recognition. A variety of mental disorders can potentially all have the same root cause.

Antiquated belief that Lyme disease is characterized by a limited set of mostly benign symptoms is rapidly being replaced by modern, increasingly accurate models of Lyme disease symptomology that encompass a vast diversity of symptomology in numerous body systems. So, if you are doubtful that a simple bacterial infection can cause such diverse symptoms as are present in autism, be forewarned—Lyme disease is a highly advanced neuropsychiatric disease with complicated and poorly understood effects on the brain. The combination of wide-ranging symptoms and the prevalence of false-negative laboratory test results means that Lyme disease may be one of the most rampant, yet under-diagnosed, infections on the planet. And, when the Lyme infection occurs in the womb, a new set of variables and complexities are introduced to the scene which further broaden the potential neurological effects of Lyme disease.

Still, the fact that Lyme disease is a great imitator is nothing worth writing home about—this has become accepted science in both mainstream and alternative medicine. Therefore, we will not belabor this point here. To learn more about Lyme disease as a great imitator, read Appendix B and consult available Lyme disease literature.

The real point we are tracking down in this chapter is not merely the fact that Lyme disease shares blurred lines with many mental illnesses, but, more importantly, the fact that autism also shares blurred lines with a variety of mental disorders. Even more important yet is the paramount question of whether or not Lyme disease and autism share blurred lines with the same set of mental illnesses.

Autism: The Next Great Imitator?

You may be surprised to learn that just as Lyme disease is a great imitator, so also is autism.

Many autistic people have a broad range of psychological symptoms, not just those few which have historically defined “classic” autism. Autism is currently being re-defined as a multi-systemic, multi-factorial disease. In this section, we will examine some of the science surrounding autism as a great imitator. For each of the scientific studies below, we will note their relevance to the Lyme-autism connection.

Swedish researchers have observed a fascinating overlap between symptoms of autism and other mental illnesses. In 2004, the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at Göteborg University, Sweden, published findings in the Journal of Neural Transmission indicating that patients suffering from autism also sometimes have symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). The Swedish researchers don’t offer an explanation for this symptom overlap, but they do acknowledge it, and conclude their study by stating that “Current diagnostic criteria have to be revised to acknowledge the co-morbidity of autism with bipolar disorder, AD/HD, schizophrenia, and other psychotic diseases.”

The connection: Of the mental illnesses which Lyme disease mimics, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are at the top of the list.

Researchers at the University of Michigan published a study in 2004 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders which concluded with the following statement: “This study lends support to the validity of depression as a distinct condition in some children with autism/PDD and suggests that, as in the normal population, autistic children who suffer from depression are more likely to have a family history of depression.”

The connection: These findings are significant for two reasons: first, the study indicates that depression is part of the autism complex of symptoms, and second, this depression can be found in family history. Both of these points are true of Lyme disease, as well.

In London, similar conclusions are being reached. The Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre published in 1998 a study entitled “Autism, affective and other psychiatric disorders: patterns of familial aggregation.” The report was released by Cambridge University Press in the Journal of Psychological Medicine. In addition to finding a correlation between familial mental disorders and autism, researchers also discovered that “Individuals with a singular diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder were more likely to exhibit autistic-like social and communication impairments.”

The connection: This finding is fascinating because it tells us that not only does autism involve symptoms of other, previously believed separate diseases, but the converse of this is also true; that those separate diseases also sometimes include symptoms known to occur in autism. This further blurs the lines between different mental disorders. This is another piece of the puzzle that shatters the previous belief that autism is completely distinct and separate from other psychiatric diseases. Modern medicine likes to put these diseases in their own neatly organized, unrelated files, but reality just won’t comply with such an organizational strategy.

City of Hope National Medical Center in California published findings that link autism and Tourette syndrome. Researchers found that “there is an intimate genetic, neuropathologic relatedness between some cases of [autism] and Tourette syndrome.” Additionally, these researchers noted frequent family groupings of the two afflictions, with obsessive compulsive disorder also showing up frequently.

The connection: The Lancet in 1998 published a study linking Lyme disease with Tourette syndrome. A 4-year old boy developed typical Tourette symptoms and was subsequently diagnosed with Lyme disease by ELISA IgG antibody testing. Upon antibiotic treatment, all symptoms resolved. From the Lancet: “Rapid efficacy of antibiotic treatment followed by a decrease in Borrelia-specific antibody titres suggests that the multiple motor and vocal tics [in this 4-year old boy] were at least partially caused by the tertiary stage of Borreliosis.” Therefore, both autism and Lyme disease share in common blurred lines with Tourette syndrome.

The lines between autism and other mental disorders are further blurred when considering the methods used to diagnose autism. This is an important area to examine because the diagnostic model used in categorizing childhood mental disorders is the primary determinant of the next twenty or more years of treatment decisions. Consider this carefully—if a child is diagnosed with autism but Lyme disease is really the root problem, then parents will spend thousands (or maybe millions) of dollars, thousands of hours, and incalculable stress, pursuing the wrong course(s) of treatment. Hence, proper diagnostic procedures, or at least, proper understanding of the limitations of modern diagnostic capabilities, is essential for ensuring that a lifetime of energy is focused in the right direction. This statement is substantiated by the experiences of numerous mothers, whose stories appear in Appendix E. These mothers only received desirable treatment results after discovering the Lyme infection in their children. Prior to the discovery, they wasted incalculable time, energy and money chasing palliative treatments.

Alarmingly, the diagnostic model used for autism can be relatively unreliable. The Indiana University School of Medicine in 1971 evaluated 5 diagnostic systems designed to differentiate infantile autism and early childhood schizophrenia and published their findings in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Diagnostic scores from 44 children were examined. Some of the five diagnostic systems contradicted the others, leading to a confusing and disturbing debate about the definitions of autism and schizophrenia. So similar are the two diseases that the lines between them become blurred when using these diagnostic systems, and the results of the diagnostic procedures become relatively meaningless. Obviously, diagnostic systems have improved exponentially since 1971. However, even today, the same symptom similarities exist between autism and schizophrenia, resulting in debate and disagreement about proper courses of treatment for the two disorders, not to mention heated arguments between parents and physicians about which treatments are most logical to pursue. Modern medicine’s appearance of having everything figured out, with white-coated, authoritative doctors passing down final diagnostic decrees to parents, is riddled with an uncertain and ambiguous past.

The tendency to over-compartmentalize diseases without sufficient data is not limited to just the commercial medical industry—non-profit research organizations dedicated to healing schizophrenia and autism also suffer the effects of arbitrarily separating autism from schizophrenia when conducting research and presenting information. The reality is that autism and schizophrenia are intimately related, and only when this fact is accounted for will true breakthrough occur in the research of the two conditions. Autism and schizophrenia are not two separate entities like the colors black and white. They resemble more closely a shade of grey, mixing some amount of black and some amount of white. When researchers only look at the black, they miss the big picture, and when they only look at white, they don’t see all of the facts. Only when shades of grey are acknowledged, will the mechanisms behind the afflictions become more apparent.

Any parent with an autistic child knows that their child exhibits a wide array of symptoms and that no two days are alike. Unlike high cholesterol or diabetes, which are fairly constant disorders with very few variations in symptoms and presentation, autism is a wildly variable condition that seems to follow no particular pattern or predictable course.

Thus far in this chapter, we have worked to establish that not only do Lyme disease and autism act like great imitators, but the diseases which they imitate happen to be the same diseases—namely, mental disorders such as schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, Tourette syndrome, AD/HD, and others. Although this overlap in associated disease syndromes (and, more broadly, associated individual symptoms) is not sufficient evidence to stand alone as the foundation for the Lyme-autism connection, this observation is, again, one more piece of the puzzle.

It really is shocking and insightful to discover that Lyme disease and autism are separated by much less space than medical schools and textbooks teach. If these broad similarities are not explained by an underlying Lyme disease infection, then what is the explanation? Isn’t it a bit improbable that two supposedly separate diseases are so intimately related in so many ways?

Before concluding this chapter, we will briefly introduce one more area of overlap: autoimmunity.


Lyme disease and autism not only share numerous similarities with regard to psychiatric symptoms and syndromes, but also autoimmunity.

The number of studies linking both Lyme disease and autism to autoimmune dysfunction is vast, encompassing dozens of published articles released by several research institutions. For specific studies, visit MEDLINE at and search for keywords autism autoimmune and lyme disease autoimmune. At the time of this writing, the first search string yielded 86 studies and the second string yielded 123 studies.

The fact that Lyme disease and autism share autoimmunity in common is, of course, fascinating, and lends credit to the Lyme-autism hypothesis. However, the link becomes even stronger in light of the fact that new research is revealing that many autoimmune disorders are caused by stealth infections. Recent research has found that treatments aimed at eradicating stealth infections happen to also provide relief, and in some cases, remission or cure, for autoimmune diseases.

One such cutting-edge treatment is the Marshall Protocol, discussed at length in The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments. The Marshall Protocol is significant in this context because it defines and reveals the mechanism by which symptoms of autoimmunity can really be an indication of underlying infection. Patients experiencing healing on the Marshall Protocol suffer from a wide range of autoimmune disorders—and healing is taking place via the anti-infective treatments that comprise the protocol. Autoimmunity is defined as the body attacking its own cells. But why would it do that? The new, prevailing theory is that there is a stealth infection inhabiting body tissues and when the immune system attempts to attack that infection, it mistakenly attacks its own proteins which might look similar to the proteins that compose the infectious microorganisms. This new theory of autoimmunity is gaining momentum.

It shouldn’t surprise us that autoimmunity is involved in Lyme disease. After all, Lyme disease is known to be caused by an infection. However, what about autism? Why is there autoimmunity in autism? Is there an underlying infection? If, in fact, autoimmunity is caused by an infectious process, then the autoimmune link between Lyme disease and autism becomes quite telling and is, yet again, just another piece of the puzzle.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Hopefully, this chapter has given you a new perspective on childhood developmental disorders. Remember, if your child gets diagnosed with any of the disease labels we have just looked at, do not be satisfied with the diagnosis. Being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder is like being diagnosed with a headache. A headache is not a diagnosis, it is a symptom. A headache is the beginning of the diagnostic journey, not the end. The same can be said of attention deficit disorder.

The minute you start treating your child’s attention deficit disorder (or autism, or schizophrenia, or fill-in-the-blank disorder) as if it is a complete diagnosis, you are beginning a losing battle. Why? The reason is logical and simple. Since these disease labels do not factor in the true cause(s) of the disease (whatever the cause(s) may be), the only treatment modern medicine can offer you is palliative treatment. Palliative treatment is that which covers symptoms instead of addressing cause. The word palliative is derived from the Latin word palliare, which means “to cloak.”

Antidepressant drugs are an example of a palliative treatment, and, not surprisingly, antidepressant drugs are the treatment most often given for childhood developmental disorders. Other palliative drugs include anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and sedative. These drugs only temporarily snuff out the symptoms of the underlying problem. And, these drugs have ghastly, brutal side effects of which the public is becoming increasingly aware—such as aggressive behavior, suicidal thoughts and ideation, and decline in intellect. Are these horrendous side effects justified given that the drugs are not even addressing the cause of the disease?

Most of the autism treatment programs and centers in the United States (at least among mainstream medicine) do nothing but offer palliative, or “behavioral” treatment. The government, non-profit research organizations, and parents spend millions of dollars on palliative treatments for childhood developmental disorders. What would happen if some of that money were actually spent on what really matters; that is, trying to locate and treat the cause? Would you offer physical therapy to someone suffering from a broken leg, or would you repair the broken leg?

Now that you are equipped with knowledge, and you know that childhood developmental disorders do in fact have underlying, scientific, physiological causes (even though these causes are sometimes elusive and difficult to isolate), you can begin to play detective with your child and treat the causes, not the symptoms, of their disease. Palliative treatments are useful to increase quality of life during the discovery process. But the palliative treatments themselves are not the end goal.

Maybe your child’s disorder is caused by an imbalance of intestinal microflora. In this case, you might consider using probiotics, diet, and herbs to correct the problem. Or maybe, it is mercury poisoning, for which you could use chelation. Or possibly, your child’s disorder is caused by food allergies, which you might alleviate by an elimination diet. Or, as this book proposes, maybe your child’s autism is caused by Lyme disease, in which case you may decide to undergo Lyme treatment. Whatever the underlying cause, the thought pattern is the same: you, as the parent, must step up to the plate, take responsibility, reject the “diagnosis” your child was given, and search for the underlying cause.

A good friend of mine (Bryan) suffered from migraine headaches for years. She drained her bank account trying the strongest painkillers and anti-migraine medications available. She endured the side effects of powerful, dangerous pharmaceuticals. She only received minimal relief, and suffered greatly. One day, a thinking physician inquired about her diet and discovered that she consumed diet soda pop once or twice a day, every day of her life. In fact, if she ran out of soda, she would make a special trip to the store to replenish her stock. After she objected vehemently, he finally convinced her to go without the soda for a few weeks. Bingo! The headaches disappeared, almost overnight. The palliative, symptom-covering painkillers were not the answer (although they did make a few CEOs and stockholders richer). Eliminating the root cause was the answer.

I do not want to oversimplify childhood developmental disorders. In most cases, the detective work necessary is much more difficult than the experience my friend had with her headaches. However, you owe it to yourself and your child to at least try the detective strategy. In the best case scenario, you will cure your child, and in the worst case scenario, you will at least become educated about your son or daughter’s body, and provide him or her with some level of relief, however minor. But most importantly, taking a detective approach will ensure that you are doing absolutely everything you can to be a good parent.

You, as a thinking, caring, intelligent parent, have what it takes to be a detective and to reject the superficial diagnosis given by a doctor whose thinking is victim of the dogmatic, palliative treatment paradigm that currently rules American medicine.