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LDRD Expert Interview Series

The LDRD Expert Interview Series features exclusive, up-to-date interviews with Lyme physicians, researchers, and other medical professionals. Hear doctors who represent a broad range of medical perspectives, from conventional to integrative therapies talk about Lyme disease symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. If you are struggling with Lyme Disease, reliable resources will greatly assist you in your quest to recover. These interviews are available in audio format.

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Here are some of the interviews included

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The Challenges in the Treatment of Lyme Disease

Raphael Stricker, MD, is in practice in San Francisco, CA, at Union Square Medical Associates. He and other physicians in the multi-specialty clinic see approximately fifteen-hundred Lyme patients. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the president of ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. During his presidency ILADS membership increased to nearly 400 members, the biggest growth in its history. In addition, the organization accomplished a significant number of positive steps on the behalf of Lyme patients, including establishing the guidelines for the treatment of Lyme. I spoke with Dr. Stricker about the controversy over chronic Lyme, the pros and cons of the existing Lyme tests, and the IDSA's argument against long-term use of antibiotics.

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The Role of Detoxification in Healing

W. Lee Cowden, MD, University of Texas Medical School, is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and clinical nutrition. Dr. Cowden is currently holding seminars to teach medical practitioners treat their patients with Lyme Disease. He is collecting data and information from patients using his protocol with the aim of publishing so that more doctors can learn that there are less toxic and more effective treatments than the standard protocol of “antibiotics-only” for Lyme Disease.

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Holistic Integrative Treatments for Lyme Disease

Peter J. Muran, MD, practices Holistic Integrative Medicine in San Luis Obispo, CA, and specializes in diagnosing and treating immune system disorders and diseases such as Lyme. Functional medicine is about treating the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. To those of us who are aware of the role we ourselves play in our own healing, this might seem like a no-brainer. But in Western medicine, the concept of the body-mind-spirt working together is still quite revolutionary and new.

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Pathologist Sin Hang Lee, MD

New Lyme DNS Testing

Pathologist Sin Hang Lee, MD, and his team have developed a DNA test for early Lyme detection. Details are available in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. The test is the first of its kind. I recently talked with Dr Lee about the new test, which has been in use at the Milford Hospital for about one year. Click to listen to our conversation.

Early detection is extremely important. People who are diagnosed with Lyme in the early stage have a good chance of receiving treatment that will cure them, and they will have no further complications from the disease. The DNA test eliminates the false positives that are problematic in the traditional Lyme tests, specifically the Western Blot and the ELISA.

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Knowledge is power!

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#1: Diagnostic markers, genetics and Borrelia bacteria.

#2: Diet and Nutrition are essential.

Ginger R. Savely, RN, FNP-C, is a primary care provider who specializes in treating Lyme disease symptoms. She holds bachelors degrees in both Psychology and Nursing, and graduated summa cum laude in her nursing class at the University of Texas—where she was named Outstanding Graduating Senior. In addition, Ginger has earned two masters degrees, one in education, one in nursing, and at the time of our first interview she was working on a doctoral degree as well. Ginger's runs TBD Medical Associates, located at Union Square Medical Associates, San Francisco. She can be contacted at Ginger is a member of ILADS, a prestigious group of world experts on the treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. She was honored by her peers by being selected to receive the 2004 Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award.

Understanding Lymph System Drainage and the Extracellular Matrix

Jean Reist, R.N., treats patients with Lyme disease at her clinic in Pennsylvania. Here she discusses the importance of promoting lymph system drainage when healing from Lyme, and suggests ways to keep the lymph draining. Proper lymph drainage, advises Jean, will keep Lyme patients from having to experiencing the healing crisis known as a Herxheimer reaction, or herx. She vividly describes the extracellular matrix to help us visualize the way lymph drainage affects our health. She also discusses the role of good nutrition as a critical component in healing from Lyme.

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Dr. Tod Thoring

Dr. Tod Thoring is a Naturopath with a family practice on California's central coast. He sees patients with many health challenges, some of whom have Lyme disease. From his perspective, stress is the universal factor in all disease. He recommends several practical suggestions for learning how to control it, including cultivating healthy relationships, creating a team approach, and not taking on the weight of the world.

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Alan MacDonald, M.D

Alan MacDonald, M.D., is a pathologist affiliated with St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, NY. His current research is concentrated on developing what he refers to a new biology for Lyme disease, including the use of special DNA probes to detect Borrelia DNA in spinal fluid and in tissue sections from Alzheimer autopsy tissues.

Through his research, and with the help of other leading researchers in the field of molecular and cellular biology, Dr. MacDonald is pioneering a broader understanding about the behavior of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. He has appeared as an invited lecturer at Lyme symposia, including the ILADS National Scientific Meetings and Columbia University/Lyme Disease Association conferences in Philadelphia, PA, where he presents the findings from his explorations into the connection between Borrelia spirochetal infection and Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. MacDonald's website is Go there to see images from his research, and find links for access to his research papers and further information about his work.

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Conversations about healthy healing with Christine Horner, M.D.

This interview with Christine Horner, M.D., is the first of a series of interviews with medical and health professionals on healing from Lyme disease. In the early '90s Dr. Horner gained much media recognition as she led a successful national campaign to require insurance companies to pay for reconstructive surgery following mastectomy.

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Knowledge is power!

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Eva Sapi, Ph.D

Eva Sapi, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor, University Research Scholar and Graduate Program Coordinator at the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven, Connecticut. She has nineteen years of experience in molecular biology and specializes in Lyme-disease related research. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can view her educational website on Lyme disease related research at

Dr. Sapi spoke with me about two significant research projects, partially funded by the Turn the Corner Foundation, that she and her Lyme research team are currently studying. Her main goal in Lyme research is "to kill the bug."

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Carol Fisch

Carol Fisch is Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Laboratory Science. She is also a stealth pathogens researcher, teacher, and, as she also suffers from Lyme disease, an advocate and activist for those suffering from stealth pathogens and neuroendocrine disorders. In her outreach education, she explores the possibility that people with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are dealing with a bacterial complex that also causes Lyme disease, among other illnesses.

"Most medical professionals, when speaking of Lyme disease, are typically referring to an outdated and over-simplified version of the disease that was once taught and believed that the main causative agent being dealt with was the Borrelia spirochete. We now know there are many agents involved," explains Carol.

Carol's experience includes having been a medical laboratory advisor for tick borne illness testing. She is well-versed in microbiology, immunology and parasitology and has an excellent understanding of Cell Wall Deficient Organisms (CWD). She may be reached at ejfisch[@]

Tina Garcia

Patient advocate Tina Garcia is passionate about justice and fairness.

Disabled by Lyme in 2004, she soon discovered the injustices in Lyme treatment. Particularly, she was outraged to learn that patients in her position were frequently turned down for medical insurance coverage for the treatment of Lyme disease. Her own insurance requests for coverage were rejected as well, and like so many Lyme patients she had to pay for treatment out of pocket.

When Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal began the investigation into the IDSA standard of Lyme treatment, Tina submitted her rejected insurance claims to his office. However, her concern wasn't simply about her own welfare. She also gathered and submitted claims from other Lyme patients, and founded
LEAP Arizona, a Lyme Education Awareness Program. She began a dialog with the Assistant AG, which lead to her invitation to testify on July 30 at the historical IDSA hearing in Washington, DC.

Tina, who is still healing from Lyme, traveled to DC where she delivered her eloquent testimony to the hearing panel. On her website, you will find a link to listen to the IDSA hearing, and a copy of her testimony.

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Dr. David Jernigan

If you were a Lyme literate doctor writing a new book on Lyme treatment, where would you turn to find the most urgent questions being asked by people who are suffering with Lyme? The online forums. Now imagine reading a book that addresses your most pressing questions about Lyme diagnosis, treatment, and symptoms. Dr David Jernigan wisely consulted the forums online to find out what the patients he cares for most need to know. Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Dr Jernigan and learn about his unique approach to Lyme treatment. He has witnessed the positive turnaround of thousands of Lyme patients at the Hansa Center for Optimum Health, his clinic in Wichita, KS.

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Knowledge is power!

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Dr Charles Ray Jones

Dr Charles Ray Jones is a man with three ordinary names - yet he couldn't be any more extraordinary in his service to chronically ill patients.

To quote Sandy Berenbaum's introduction at a 2008 University of New Haven celebration to honor Dr Jones, a colleague of his has observed that he is "an international treasure - a courageous, selfless, inspirational, and outstandingly gifted clinician who has helped thousands of the most severely ill children with Lyme disease from around the world to regain their health and their lives."

Dr Jones spoke with me about Connecticut Governor Rell's recent decision to allow doctors to treat Lyme disease, the significance of this week's IDSA hearing in Washington, DC, and about the future of Lyme disease treatment.

Kathrine Dowdney

Katherine Dowdney’s passion for anatomy and movement is evident in her teaching. She enjoys empowering clients to meet their personal fitness and wellness goals. Utilizing a combination of the Pilates method, yoga, traditional weight training, and additional corrective exercise modalities Katherine has a special interest in working with individuals with chronic conditions and pre or post rehabilitation. Katherine is a certified ACE personal trainer, a dual certified Pilates instructor through Peak Pilates and Balanced Body, an E-RYT 200 hour yoga instructor, an NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, and an AFPA Post Rehab Specialist. She has received training in experiential anatomy, pre/post natal Fusion Pilates, Sadhana Chi yoga, Children’s yoga, and Structural Yoga Therapy. She recently attended an 8-day training in Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors at Duke Integrative Medicine. Her interests are in mindful movement, pain management, and corrective exercise.

Katherine is a founding member of Moving Women Dance Performance Ensemble in Asheville, NC where she choreographs and performs as a modern dancer. Along with dancing and teaching movement science, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Sam, and their dog, Ranger.

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Stephen Harrod Buhner

Stephen Buhner discusses his exhaustive research and the necessity for alternative medicines.

Stephen Harrod Buhner is the author of the watershed book on Lyme disease, Healing Lyme: Natural and Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Co-infections. Stephen is a master herbalist, psychotherapist and an expert on indigenous and contemplative spiritual traditions. In preparation for his book Stephen  conducted an intensive study of Lyme. In the course of his research, he says, he expected to find that non-pharmaceutical alternatives were not included in any mainstream medical discussion about treatment. But he was surprised by something else he discovered, which is, "that a significant amount of reputable research is being ignored by the mainstream medical community." Healing Lyme suggests a core herbal protocol which is being followed by many Lyme patients. To learn more about it, please visit his web site:

And many more!

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Knowledge is power!