May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

May is Lyme Awareness Month.  Please acquaint yourself with the realities of this disease.  Do yourself and your family a favor and try to see the film “Under Our Skin” if it is playing in your area.   You can also purchase the DVD at http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/303550/baff7cac12/1309003029/7c9141a361/ .

As Dr. Maloney points out in todays Brainer Dispatch, the current guidelines for diagnosing and treating Lyme disease are insufficient and incorrect.

While the Minnesota Department of Health estimates that one in three deer ticks in Minnesota is a carrier of tick-borne illnesses, Maloney said the high number of cases in this area may indicate an even greater infection rate here. Possibly one out of every two deer ticks may harbor the diseases.

Maloney said in speaking to those who attended the Outing presentation, she learned that treatments by area doctors can vary widely, from those who tell patients to wait it out after a known deer tick bite to see if they develop a rash to doctors who prescribe antibiotics immediately.

“Three years ago I realized there was a big disconnect between what patients were telling us and what physicians were hearing on courses on Lyme disease,” Maloney said. “I thought this was unusual and I wanted to dig into the science, starting way back. What I came to find is that Lyme is a very complex illness and there are a lot of caveats and nuances to it. But physicians are given a fairly simplistic view of the illness. They are led to believe that the recommendations from the Infectious Diseases Society are based on more data than they are and that the outcomes are better than they are and patients show up and say ‘We’re still sick’ but according to these studies they shouldn’t be sick and they are.”

Maloney said lab tests for tick-borne illnesses are insufficient and doctors have to diagnose it on clinical grounds. Yet clinical trails that treatment is based on are also insufficient. She said many studies of Lyme disease patients have dropout rates as high as 20 percent and success for treatment in those that remained in the treatment trails ran at about 65 percent. She said one year later about 10 percent of those in the studies became sicker and 25 percent had lingering symptoms.

Maloney said the protocol to treat Lyme disease with antibiotics for 28 days is based on four studies with only 96 patients and none had late neurologic Lyme disease.

For the full article: http://www.brainerddispatch.com/stories/050110/new_20100501046.shtml

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~ by Rob on May 1, 2010.

3 Responses to “May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month”

  1. I have just read and signed the online petition:

    “The New York State Petition To Stop Lyme Disease”

    hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition
    service, at:

    http://www.PetitionOnline.com/StopLyme/

    I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
    agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
    signing yourself.

    Best wishes,

    Rhonda O’Brien

  2. Rhonda,
    Good idea and excellent petition. I hope it gets some momentum.
    Rob

  3. If anyone would like to send an email to the county legislatures in Dutchess county, NY, their address is:

    countylegislators@co.dutchess.ny.us

    thank you,
    Rob

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