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To determine the long-term impact of
Lyme disease, we evaluated 84 randomly selected, original study patients from the
Lyme, Connecticut, region who had erythema migrans, facial palsy, or
Lyme arthritis 10-20 years ago and 30 uninfected control subjects. The patients in the 3 study groups and the control group did not differ significantly in current symptoms or neuropsychological test results. However, patients with facial palsy, who frequently had more widespread nervous system involvement, more often had residual facial or peripheral nerve deficits. Moreover, patients with facial palsy who did not receive antibiotics for acute neuroborreliosis more often now had joint pain and sleep difficulty and lower scores on the body pain index and standardized physical component sections of the Short-Form 36 Health Assessment Questionnaire than did antibiotic-treated patients with facial palsy. Thus, the overall current health status of each patient group was good, but sequelae were apparent primarily among patients with facial palsy who did not receive antibiotics for acute neuroborreliosis.