Clinical & neurocognitive features of the post Lyme syndrome

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate neurocognitive impairment in patients with

persistent arthralgia, fatigue, and subjective memory loss in

patients after Lyme disease (post-Lyme syndrome, PLS).

METHODS: We compared the clinical, neurocognitive, and

psychological features of 23 patients with PLS to 23 age,

sex, and education matched recovered patients (REC). All met

Centers for Disease Control criteria for Lyme disease, were

ELISA positive at onset of Lyme disease and were previously

treated with standard antibiotic regimens.


patients with PLS, 7 (30%) had fibromyalgia (FM), 3 (13%) had

chronic fatigue syndrome, and 10 (43%) had similar but milder

symptoms but did not meet the criteria for either. 22 of 23

patients with PLS complained of decreased memory or

concentration problems. Patients with PLS had significantly

lower scores on the attention/concentration scale (p = 0.012)

of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R), indicating

lowered attention/concentration. 52% of patients with PLS and

35% in the REC group had significantly lower (p < 0.05) WMS-R

verbal memory scores than visual memory scores. The PLS group

had subjectively more problems with sleep and mood changes and

higher scores on several scales of Symptom Check List 90-R (p

< 0.01), indicating greater physical distress. Beck

Depression Inventory scores were also higher for the PLS than

the REC group (p < 0.005), but were within the normal range.

CONCLUSION: Despite antibiotic treatment, a sequelae of Lyme

disease may be a PLS characterized by persistent arthralgia,

fatigue, and neurocognitive impairment that is probably

induced by Lyme disease.

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One thought on “Clinical & neurocognitive features of the post Lyme syndrome”

  1. lyme says:

    The sample selection is very bad choice of controls. A better criteria for controls would be someone that never had lyme disease and that had 0 western blot band showing positive.

    Garbage in garbage out on this study.

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