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Neurological manifestations of Lyme borreliosis: clinical definition and differential diagnosis.

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Abstract

Neurological manifestations occur in early disseminated
Lyme Borreliosis and in the chronic late stage. Two of them, Bannwarth’s syndrome and acrodermatitis chronica atraphicans-associated neuropathy, were known as well defined clinical entities many years prior to the detection of their causative agent. Soon after B. burgdorferi was identified and serologic tests became available, many reports were published which attributed to a large variety of different neurological disorders to
Lyme borreliosis. In many cases the diagnosis was primarily based on serodiagnostic results. Yet some scepticism is indicated since 10-30% of the population in endemic areas have been found to be seropositive. While prior to 1983 and before the availability of serodiagnostic tests neurological manifestations of
Lyme borreliosis were recognized by a minority of neurologists, they now seem to be overdiagnosed. Therefore clear diagnostic criteria have to be set up. They include the clinical picture, other preceding or concomitant diseases of the
Lyme borreliosis complex, serodiagnostic results, cerebrospinal fluid findings, demonstration of intrathecal specific antibody synthesis, results of nerve biopsies, response to adequate antibiotic therapy and exclusion of other diseases. The significance of each of these criteria depends on the clinical involvement and on the stage of
Lyme borreliosis.

Scand J Infect Dis Suppl. 1991;77:64-73. Review

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