Saturday, 19 May 2012
Stroke and Lyme
Two neurologists have reported that a 20-year-old man suffered a stroke as a result of meningitis brought on by Lyme disease. Eleven similar cases have been documented in Europe, they say.
In a report published yesterday in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association, the two neurologists at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recommend that victims of inexplicable strokes be tested for Lyme disease.
''This is not the first time stroke has been linked to Lyme disease,'' said Dr. Eugene F. May, who, with Dr. Bahman Jabbari, wrote the report. ''But it is not a widely known syndrome.''
Lyme disease is caused by a tick- transmitted bacteria, called Borrelia burgdorferi. Its early symptoms are a skin rash, headaches and fever, but if untreated the disease can cause arthritis as well as heart and neurological damage. It is rarely fatal.
Link Is Long Suspected
Neurologists say a link between Lyme disease and stroke has long been suspected. ''Everybody has been looking for this for years,'' said Dr. John J. Halperin of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. ''This is probably the best documentation we've had so far.''