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Nervous system lyme disease: is there a controversy?

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Abstract

Infection with the tick-borne spirochete, BORRELIA BURGDORFERI, affects the nervous system in well-defined ways. Accurate diagnostic tools and effective therapeutic regimens are now well established. Persistent misconceptions about (1) the role and interpretation of laboratory tests, (2) what is and is not evidence of nervous system infection, and (3) what constitutes an expected response to treatment have fostered widespread perceptions that this
disease is highly controversial. Infection causes the classically described triad of meningitis, radiculoneuritis, and cranial neuritis; however, virtually every known neurologic disorder has been blamed on this infection. For most (multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer
disease, Parkinson
disease), evidence is scant, nonexistent, or coincidental. For some (cerebral vasculitis with stroke, optic neuritis) a few case reports suggest a rare possible causal link.

© Thieme Medical Publishers.

Semin Neurol. 2011 Jul;31(3):317-24. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0031-1287652. Epub 2011 Sep 30. Review

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