Alzheimer's and Lyme Disease

Alzheimer's and Lyme share many symptoms, an unfortunate circumstance that can result in misdiagnoses for elderly people whose caregivers suspect senility. The Alzheimer's Disease Association lists changes in mood or behavior, disorientation of time and place, and an inability to concentrate among the warning signals of the disease. Symptoms may also include problems with abstract thinking and difficulty performing familiar tasks, such as buckling a belt or preparing a simple meal.

Brain dysfunction or dementia, what used to be called 'senility', are commonly recognized as disabilities that afflict older citizens. Other potential signals of Lyme are joint pain, dizziness, and muscle aches, which are common complaints among seniors. For generations, the prevailing notion has been that old people simply tend toward absent-mindedness, arthritis and fatigue. Therefore, older people's symptoms are less likely to signal anything out of the ordinary to a doctor or health care practitioner. Doctors may easily miss the warning signs of Lyme, instead giving the patient a catch-all diagnoses such as Alzheimer's, heart disease or lupus. Seniors have been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's, when the real problem is Lyme disease.

Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the Borreliosis bacteria, the bugs that cause the effects of Lyme disease. However, undetected by medical professionals, the patients are unlikely to get the medicine they need. Without proper treatment, Lyme can have devastating effects.
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