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lyme disease Research

Common allergy med kills Lyme bacteria?

Encouraging news is spreading throughout the Lyme community. A northern California nonprofit called the Bay Area Lyme Foundation says that a common allergy medicine may help kill the Lyme bacteria. A new laboratory study shows that the antihistamine, loratadine (or as you might know it, Claritin), starves the Lyme bacteria by preventing it to gather manganese, which it evidently needs to harm the body. The study has so far proved Claritin effective in killing Lyme bacteria in test tubes.

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation's mission is to "make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, and to make prevention common knowledge." These are our kind of people. 

Not all doctors are educated about Lyme diagnosis and treatment. For many years, the CDC held the line that only 20,000 new cases of Lyme disease were diagnosed annually. Recently, they increased that estimate to 300,000. However, for decades those low numbers, as well as inadequate doctor-education about Lyme prevention and diagnosis, meant inadequate funding for research. Perhaps this breakthrough study is a signal that the tide is turning.

As always, consult your Lyme-literate doctor for further information. Claritin and all allergy medications can cause side effects. The study of loratadine was published in the open access publication Drug Design, Development and Therapy.


Lyme patients take the fight to DC

A bill that would direct 20 million dollars toward Lyme disease research is being held up by committee. Lyme patients showed up by the dozens this week on Capitol Hill to show Congress that increasingly, people are exposed to serious tick-borne diseases and are in dire need of more doctors who are educated about Lyme disease treatment.

Joe LeBlanc, Director of the Central Virginia Chapter of the National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association emailed an optimistic note yesterday from the Congressional Briefing. Joe reports that there was "standing room only" at the meeting, and despite the focus on the financial crisis, the briefing went very well. Now, we have to keep on top of our congressional representatives to keep up the momentum.

A big thank you to Joe and everyone who traveled to the Hill to speak up on all our behalf!