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Regional cerebral blood flow and cognitive deficits in chronic lyme disease.


This study examined brain functioning in patients with
Lyme encephalopathy. Eleven patients underwent neuropsychological tests and Xenon(133)-regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) studies, using an external detector system. Each rCBF scan was age- and sex-matched to two archival, normal controls. While few differences were noted on gray-matter flow indices (ISI, fg),
Lyme patients demonstrated significant flow reductions in white matter index (k(2)) (p=.004), particularly in the posterior temporal and parietal lobes bilaterally (p=.003). Flow reductions in white matter areas were significantly associated with deficits in memory (r=.66, p=.027) and visuospatial organization (r=.62, p=.041). Results suggest that
Lyme encephalopathy may be a
disease primarily affecting the cerebral white matter.

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2003 Summer;15(3):326-32. Comparative Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t [1]