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The Incidence of Cognitive Disorders and Depression in People with Lyme disease

Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The most common symptoms are related to the skin, musculo-scelatal system, central and peripheral nervous system, rarely to the heart muscle and the eye, and may occur in the multistage course of the disease. LB may additionally be accompanied by psychopathological symptoms. The aim of the study is estimation of the cognitive and affective disorders occurence in patients with LB.
The study was carried out in the group of 121 patients (61 females, 60 males) aged 18-65; mean age 46 years. All patients were diagnosed with late-stage of LB: 46 patients (38%) with Lyme arthritis and 75 patients (62%) with neuroborreliosis. Evaluation of the cognitive and affective functioning of patients was performed on the basis of a standardized interview and test methods: the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clock Drawing Test (CDT) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
Cognitive disorders occurred statistically significantly more often in patients with neuroborreliosis (14.7%) than in patients with Lyme arthritis (4.3%). A group of females with neuroborreliosis and a group of males with the same diagnosis demonstrated cognitive deficits significantly more often (23.3% and 8.9%, respectively), compared to groups of patients with Lyme arthritis (6.5% in females and no cognitive deficits in males).
A significantly higher percentage of depressive disorders was also noted in the group of males and females with neuroborreliosis (50.7%), compared to the group of patients with Lyme arthritis (39.1%). The symptoms of depression were particularly frequent in the females with neuroborreliosis (60%). The severity of depression measured by BDI was mild or moderate in most cases. In the examined groups, more patients with neuroborreliosis (44%), both in females (36.7%) and males (48.9%), demonstrated anxiety disorders. The obtained results showed a higher frequency of affective disorders compared to cognitive deficits, both in patients with Lyme arthritis and neuroborreliosis.
An increased frequency of depressive and neurotic disorders was observed in patients with LB, particularly in patients with neuroborreliosis. Neurotic disorders, mainly adaptive, were most common in males with LB, while depressive disorders were more frequent in females. An increased frequency of cognitive deficits was observed in patients with neuroborreliosis, particularly in females.
Source: By Oczko-Grzesik B1, K?pa L1, Puszcz-Matlinska M2, Pudlo R3, Zurek A2, Badura-Glabik T2. Estimation of cognitive and affective disorders occurrence in patients with Lyme borreliosis. Ann Agric Environ Med. [1] 2017 Mar 1;24(1):33-38. doi: 10.5604/12321966.1229002.