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TOUCHED BY LYME: Strong connection between Lyme disease and MS

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Reprinted from with the kind permission of Dorothy Kupcha Leland. To read the original article, click here. 

TV and film actress Selma Blair created a stir this past weekend, when she announced on Instagram that she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

The “Cruel Intentions” actress, who is currently filming a project for Netflix, posted that she was diagnosed in August. She further stated:

“I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things,” she posted. “My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”

Alas, when somebody makes this kind of announcement, the first thing that pops into the heads of people in the Lyme community is “What if it’s actually Lyme disease?”

I’m not saying that every case of MS is caused by Lyme disease. But it’s very common for people who actually have Lyme disease to be misdiagnosed with MS. In fact, according to MyLymeData, 14% of chronic Lyme patients in the study said they had initially been misdiagnosed with MS.

And unfortunately, MS treatment typically involves immunosuppression—exactly what you don’t want with a bacterial infection like Lyme disease.

Dr. Steve Phillips speaks on the connection between Lyme and MS in a video he and Dana Parish have posted on Facebook.

This video is all about MS! Did you know that MS is a non-etiologic diagnosis? That it's really just a collection of symptoms and signs? And that Lyme can cause all of them? Consequently, Lyme can CAUSE MS, and many cases can get fundamentally better if you treat the potential underlying Lyme infection. Especially in relapsing-remitting MS! Did you know that spirochetal infections (like Lyme) were linked to MS in the scientific literature as far back as the 1950's, and have continued to be published in the medical literature with little fanfare? Did you know that there is NO medical test, apart from Lyme blood tests, which are of dubious sensitivity, that can distinguish Lyme from MS?Your doctor may not be aware of this information and may be just treating your symptoms without getting to the root of your MS. Remember, most doctors are taught to follow guidelines and are not investigating the cause of illness.If you or someone you love has MS, this video could be a life-changer. Please feel free to share ?

Posted by Dr. Steven Phillips & Dana Parish on Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Read more about the connection between Lyme disease and MS:

Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease as MS –MyLymeData Quick Bytes

Do antibiotics help patients with Lyme disease who are also diagnosed with MS?

Canadian study finds antibiotics effective inn treating MS

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at

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