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Cognitive effects of Lyme disease in children: a 4 year followup study.

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To measure cognitive effects of
Lyme disease (LD) in a pediatric population 4 years after
disease onset.


Prospective, blinded, multivariable controlled study of cognitive skills in children who have been treated for LD. The setting was a children’s hospital in an area endemic for LD. Twenty-five children with strictly defined LD were compared with 17 control children (6
disease-control and 11 sibling-control).


An extensive set of neuropsychological measures was administered. These included assessment of the cognitive areas of IQ, information processing speed, fine-motor dexterity, novel problem solving and executive functioning, short term and intermediate memory, and acquisition of new learning. Parents’ ratings were also obtained concerning
disease impact upon everyday activities.


Seventeen of the 18 neuropsychological test measures showed the LD and control groups similar at time of 4 year followup. There were no differences between the groups regarding parents’ impressions of
disease impact.


In contrast to studies of adults with LD, the results of longterm followup of the pediatric population continue to strongly support the finding that children treated appropriately for LD have an excellent prognosis for normal cognitive functioning.

J Rheumatol. 1999 May;26(5):1190-4. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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