Lyme goes to the movies

Can it be a good thing when characters in movies and soap operas have Lyme disease? Yes. Getting the word out to movie fans and soap opera devotees can help shape and inform public opinion. Martin Scorsese produced Lymelife , starring Alec Baldwin, Cynthia Nixon and Timothy Hutton. The film will be available on Netflix, and is scheduled to be released on April 17, 2009. The story takes place in the NE in the 1970s:

15-year old Scott Bartlett's family life is turned upside-down after an outbreak of Lyme disease hits the community spreading illness and paranoia. Scott's parents -- a workaholic father, Mickey, and an overprotective mother, Brenda -- are on the verge of a divorce as his older brother Jim is about to ship off for war. Complicating matters, Scott has fallen in love with his next door neighbor, Adrianna...

Stories are powerful conductors of information. They portray genuine emotion and can move people to action. Of course, the appearance of Lyme on TV and in the movies may give some false information as well. We can almost count on a certain degree of misinformation being transmitted through fiction regarding Lyme disease, which is confusing enough to understand in real life. I had to laugh at the recap notes for TV's long-running soap, The Young and the Restless, as Kay was suspected of having Lyme disease on Wednesday and received a diagnosis on Thursday. This is particularly funny since I think of soaps as a medium where characters can remain pregnant for at least a year.

What are your thoughts on these stories? Are they doing a service, or adding to the misinformation about Lyme disease? Tell us what you think.