Dr. Saunders, a dubious expert

•January 24, 2015 • 1 Comment

Once again, a physician, in this case a pediatrician by the name of Russell Sanders, is going out of his way to publicly state that Yolanda Foster of the TV program “Real Housewives ” has a fake disease, Lyme Disease (LD). ( http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/21/real-housewife-fake-disease.html )

How can a medically certified pediatrician, if he is, chime in on a patient’s medical condition when in fact she is not his patient, not privy to her medical records, not a child for which he supposedly specializes in, and not an infectious disease expert? This in itself should constitute revoking his medical license. Instead, he appears to crave publicity by vocalizing his opinion on her condition. I hope his medical records reflect that he is the one with Morgellons (i.e., attention grabbing syndrome).

To make matters worse, his patients, children, are the ones most prone to playing around in the grass and picking up ticks. If Dr. Saunders questions the existence of chronic Lyme disease (CLD), then the children he treats are at a greater risk of a treatable disease (i.e., LD )becoming unnecessarily crippling and potentially robbing them of their childhood.

I hope his patients are educating themselves about LD so they can challenge his recommendations. As for Yolanda Foster and all other LD patients, I wish you the very best in your struggle. These absurd denials of CLD only add to the daily difficulties.

Rob

Antibiotics: US discovery labelled ‘game-changer’ for medicine

•January 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Excerpted from the BBC: (1/07/2015)

The decades-long drought in antibiotic discovery could be over after a breakthrough by US scientists.

Their novel method for growing bacteria has yielded 25 new antibiotics, with one deemed “very promising”.

The last new class of antibiotics to make it to clinic was discovered nearly three decades ago.

The study, in the journal Nature, has been described as a “game-changer” and experts believe the antibiotic haul is just the “tip of the iceberg”.

The heyday of antibiotic discovery was in the 1950s and 1960s, but nothing found since 1987 has made it into doctor’s hands.

Since then microbes have become incredibly resistant. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis ignores nearly everything medicine can throw at it.

For more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30657486

Commentary: CLD – Caustic LD Denier

•December 17, 2014 • 2 Comments

I just came across a dubious Lyme disease article in Forbes, “NY Governor Must Decide Today On Shielding Doctors Who Use Unproven Lyme Disease Treatments”.

Leave it to a business magazine to dogmatically support the interests of financial entities over the wellbeing of the very ill. I’m sure the author of the article, Steven Salzberg, considers himself a reputable investigative journalist, but his opinions on this subject are nothing shy of sycophancy.

To suggest that Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD) does not exist or that patients and doctors are just racking up unnecessary medical expenses, implies that Salzberg’s knowledge of CLD is greater than the collective experiences of the 10’s of thousands afflicted with the disease, as well as the scores of Lyme Literate Doctors (LLD) on the front lines treating the disease every day. Frankly, it is hard for me to take seriously anyone preaching the pros or cons of CLD who hasn’t experienced the disease firsthand.

Personally, having had LD for approximately 16 years and had daily intravenous (IV) antibiotics of Rocephin and Zithromax for about five of those years, I believe the proper level of treatment can only be determined on an Individual basis. In my case, through much trial and error of many varying treatments, and objective self-analysis of my cognitive healing and neuro-muscular changes, my LD induced quadriplegia is gradually on the mend. This certainly would not have been the case based on the medical professional’s denials of CLD nor merely three weeks of Doxycycline.

So, should a financial magazine journalist whose self-interests are clearly aligned with those that profit from misdiagnosing CLD be taken seriously? Obviously, no. Unfortunately for many of Mr. Salzberg’s readers who live comfortably in the LD hotspots of Connecticut and Long Island, his misinformation has put their families and themselves at an even greater risk of contracting the disease.

And as for all those medical professionals racking up my medical expenses by insisting that I have MS – a disease with no known cause nor cure – rather than LD, I say “Hmmm”.

 

A tick (and antibiotics) in time

Saves Lyme

 

Rob

Willy Burgdorfer, Who Found Bacteria That Cause Lyme Disease, Is Dead at 89

•November 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Excerpted from the New York Times: (11/19/2014)

Willy Burgdorfer, a medical entomologist who in 1982 identified the cause of what had been a mysterious affliction, Lyme disease, died on Monday at a hospital in Hamilton, Mont. He was 89.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, said Tom Schwan, a colleague of Mr. Burgdorfer’s for many years at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Hamilton.

Lyme disease took its name from the Connecticut area where it first drew attention in the 1970s, including the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme and East Haddam. Scores of people in the area, particularly children, had developed rashes, fevers, swollen joints and sometimes more serious symptoms. Early on, it was called Lyme arthritis. It did not take long for scientists to speculate that there was a common link: blacklegged ticks, also called deer ticks.

Many of the children lived and played in wooded areas and developed rashes after being bitten by deer ticks. Cases were more prevalent east of the Connecticut River, where there were more deer. Many laboratory hours were devoted to determining if the deer ticks were spreading a virus. But no virus was detected. There had to be another explanation.

Dr. Burgdorfer, who was born and educated in Basel, Switzerland, moved to Hamilton in 1951 to pursue his distinctive specialty: tick surgery, as he liked to call his meticulous method of dissecting ticks to study the diseases they spread. Hamilton, a small city in the Bitterroot Valley, had been home to a prominent laboratory for decades, after the discovery in 1906 that wood ticks in the region were transmitting Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Burgdorfer was analyzing deer ticks from Long Island that were suspected to have caused spotted fever when he stumbled on something unexpected under his microscope: spirochetes, disease-causing bacteria shaped like corkscrews. They were located in only one section of the ticks, the so-called midguts. He had studied spirochetes in graduate school.

For more: For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/health/willy-burgdorfer-who-found-bacteria-that-cause-lyme-disease-is-dead-at-89.html

Valley View: Lyme is most misunderstood disease since AIDS

•November 16, 2014 • 2 Comments

Excerpted from PoughkeepsieJournal.COM: (11/09/2014)

With the possible exception of HIV/AIDS, no infectious disease in recent history has been as misunderstood, maligned or politicized as Lyme disease.

After more than two decades of controversy and government neglect, Lyme disease has become too large an issue to ignore any longer. A year ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 1 in 10 cases of Lyme disease were properly reported to public health agencies and increased the likely incidence to more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. per year. As a highly endemic state, a significant proportion of those cases are in New York.

For perspective, cases of HIV/AIDS number more than 50,000 annually, meaning that for every person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, there are 6 people with Lyme disease. Ironically, the early years of AIDS were fraught with similar controversy that resulted in the epidemic spiraling out of control, while scientists fought over every aspect of the disease, from admitting that AIDS was actually an infectious disease, to who would get the naming rights for HIV.

There are thousands of people in New York suffering from Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that a few weeks of antibiotics may not cure. As with HIV/AIDS, both the existence of disabling symptoms and the possible cause are under dispute.

For more: For more: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20140327/NEWS01/303270027/a>

Lyme Disease II: MS and Lyme, Cover-ups and Conspiracies

•October 29, 2014 • 2 Comments

Excerpted from Madison County Courier : OCT-2014)

Ebola continues to fill the news; Lyme disease is finally breaking into it. And the breakthrough brings startling and disheartening news. Because of copyright issues, I can’t quote a piece from the Vaughter Wellness website (owndoc.com) to any extent, but a well-referenced article reports that since 1911, multiple sclerosis has been known to be caused by the same bacterium as Lyme disease.

No wonder there are so many misdiagnoses.

The article takes big pharma, groups like the MS Society, support groups and the government to task for holding back work on Lyme disease. For example, it says big pharma sells symptom relief without significantly searching for prevention and cure protocols or better testing procedures.

Other sources describe doctors being ostracized by their colleagues for successfully treating Lyme disease patients by going beyond the approved protocol – not going out of the scope of modern medicine but beyond what those with power say should be done. Such sources also describe the poor tests used to diagnose Lyme disease (e.g., 50 and more percent failure rates), especially when much better tests are available but not legal or covered by insurance.

Lyme disease is not just a U.S. problem. France produced a video (see vimeo.com) called “A Silent Epidemic,” calling the ticks that transmit Lyme “modern vampires.” One Lyme patient describes 20 years of hell, finally capped by 37 medical visits in 10 months when her Lyme disease was finally diagnosed.

Fortunately for her, even after all those years without treatment for Lyme, she made a good recovery. Most people don’t, and Lyme is a long-term, debilitating disease that can even go underground for some time only to arise with a vengeance.

Another article headlines that Canada moves out of denial regarding Lyme. Northern climates were long held too cold for large tick populations. Yet, Canada now has the ticks and Lyme disease, and the hotbed of Lyme disease in the U.S. is Pennsylvania, New York and the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

Associate Professor of Microbiology Holly Ahern, has boldly said, “Lyme disease is absolutely an epidemic.”

Research indicates it is diagnosed, even among the many misdiagnoses, at a rate of 10 to 50 times what public health statistics show. Estimates are that as many as one million people in the U.S. have Lyme disease. In 2013, a report was published, “Lyme Disease in Massachusetts: A Public Health Crisis.”

It’s starting to be taken seriously, but the previous sentence indicates we still have real problem.

For more: http://madisoncountycourier.com/?p=58708

‘Chronic Lyme Disease’ Debate Reaches US Capitol

•October 9, 2014 • 2 Comments

congress

Excerpted from Healthline: 10/07/2014)

The mainstream Infectious Diseases Society of America says there’s no such thing as ‘chronic Lyme disease,’ but patients with debilitating and mysterious illnesses have come to the nation’s capitol to urge Congress to fund more research.

The debate over chronic illnesses stemming from tick bites has landed on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

The House of Representatives last month approved legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) that would require the federal government to conduct and support research on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. The Tick-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 still needs to pass through the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, this weekend, doctors, patients, and Lyme disease advocates will assemble in Washington, D.C., for the 15th annual convention of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).

It’s an important time for people suffering from illnesses they believe are related to tick bites. A longstanding feud between the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and ILADS is raging with new fervor as more and more people nationwide report debilitating symptoms that last for decades. The IDSA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created treatment guidelines for Lyme disease based on a number of scientific studies showing that a short course of antibiotics can clear the infection in most people, though several studies mention that one or more subjects experienced “residual symptoms.”

Patients who believe they have chronic Lyme disease don’t accept the answers doctors give them — that their Lyme disease should be gone after a maximum of four weeks of antibiotics, and that any lingering symptoms probably are not related to an ongoing Lyme infection. ‘Chronic Lyme disease’ is not a widely recognized medical diagnosis.

Miserable patients seeking relief, and doctors who have no idea how to help them, have created a culture of extreme mistrust. Patients think most conventional doctors are labeling them as hypochondriacs without making any real effort to help. Most doctors say they can’t help these patients because they do not in fact have chronic Lyme disease. They say other doctors who claim that they can treat chronic Lyme disease are offering false hope, acting unethically, and possibly offering patients treatments that are harmful.

Bill ‘Acknowledges Our Chronic Lyme Sufferers’

Gibson’s legislation calls for basic, epidemiological, translational, and clinical research on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. It requires biennial progress reports from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For more: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/lyme-debate-reaches-capital-100714

 
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