Sign in with Google+ Sign in with LinkedIn

lyme disease symptoms UC Davis

Persistent Lyme disease symptoms to be studied

Some people think Lyme disease symptoms are "all in your head." Others experience persistent challenges, including severe fatigue, cognitive disorganization and arthritis, and argue that in spite of their having completed antibiotic therapy the Lyme bug is still making them sick. Regardless of your position on whether or not chronic Lyme exists, the question remains: Why do Lyme disease symptoms persist, in some patients, beyond the recommended course of antibiotics prescribed by the CDC?

A recent study conducted at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine offers assurance that scientists are attempting to answer that question. According to a news release distributed by UC Davis News Service on March 31, researchers found residual amounts of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria lingering in the DNA of laboratory mice, after the infected mice had completed antibiotic therapy. Apparently the research suggests that although residual bacteria can be detected, there is no evidence that it is causing inflammation or disease. However, the study shows that it may, in part, account for persistent symptoms. According to lead researcher Professor Stephen Barthold, "this may explain why some Lyme disease patients recover slowly following antibiotic treatment, exhibiting what has been termed 'post-Lyme disease syndrome'."

Fortunately, we can look forward to further investigation into the cause of chronic Lyme symptoms, and perhaps even one day discovering therapies to stop Lyme's devastating effects. "The results of this study do set the stage for controlled laboratory research investigating potential therapies for persistent Lyme disease infections," researchers at the Center for Comparative Medicine say.

Read more about Lyme disease symptoms.