New Books on Lyme May be Game Changers

I received several Lyme related books for Christmas. I breezed through Dr. Neil Spector’s book “Gone in a Heartbeat” and am slowly making my way through “Conquering Lyme Disease” by Brian A Fallon, MD and Jennifer Sotsky, MD of the Columbia University Medical Center. Both these books are written by highly respected Doctors and are filled with an incredible amount of information.

I think “Conquering Lyme Disease” and Mary Beth Pfeiffer’s soon to be released “Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change” could be a game changers in the world of Lyme and tick borne diseases. There was a particular part in “Conquering Lyme Disease” that I have shared far and wide:

“Fortunately, science has now created a bridge that brings together the opposing viewpoints.

– Previously chronic persistent subjective symptoms after Lyme disease were not studied because these were considered rare or inconsequential. Now this symptom complex is recognized as a potentially debilitating condition with widespread effects on the nervous, immune, and rheumatologic systems.

• While the exact prevalence is debatable, various studies demonstrate that 5 percent to 20 percent of patients experience symptom persistence and functional impairment for six months or longer (Bechtold et al. 2017; Marques 2008).

• Among patients with persistent symptoms seeking to participate in the U.S. clinical trials of post-treatment Lyme disease, the degree of physical functional impairment among patients was recorded as severe, comparable to patients with congestive heart failure (Klempner et al.2001). The degree of fatigue was comparable to that experienced by individuals with multiple sclerosis, and the degree of pain was comparable to that experienced by individuals after surgery (Fallon et al. 2008). While this does not mean that most patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome experience such severe symptoms and functional deficits, these results do confirm that there is a range of symptoms and of functional impairment that in some cases can be quite severe.

– Previously the laboratory testing for Lyme disease was considered adequate. Now these tests are recognized as limited, outdated, and not sufficiently informative. Researchers around the world are competing with one another to develop assays that are more sensitive in early and late Lyme disease and that provide clarity on whether infection is still present.

– Previously the suggestion that infection with B. burgdorferi might persist after standard courses of antibiotic treatment was considered implausible. Now the persistence of nonculturable B. burgdorferi spirochetes or fragments despite treatment is recognized as a fact in numerous animal models of Lyme disease. Researchers are now trying to determine whether these persistent spirochetes induce local tissue inflammation; if they do, that might account for symptoms. A study (Hodzic et al. 2014) in mice demonstrated that the host tissue modulates its cytokine expression in response to the persistent spirochetes, but there was no evidence of local tissue inflammation. This research continues.

– Previously it was thought that standard antibiotics like doxycycline and amoxicillin eradicate all Borrelia. Now it is recognized in the laboratory setting that these antibiotics eradicate most of the spirochetes that cause Lyme disease but not all. Identifying better antimicrobials to eradicate the “persistent Borrelia” is currently an intense focus of investigation, as is determining whether these new antimicrobial approaches, which are effective in the lab setting, will translate into better outcomes in the animal models.”

The above is valuable information and, from what I am given to understand, most, if not all, will also be discussed in Mary Beth Pfeiffer’s soon to be published book, “Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change”. I can’t wait to receive that one in April! I also can’t wait to hear her speak in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday, May 5th, at our 2nd Annual Lyme Information Session. Lots of very important information will be shared. Mark it on your calendar.

2 thoughts on “New Books on Lyme May be Game Changers

  1. Thank you for your blog and link to some books I have not read will be adding them to my library. I found Richard Horowitz’s “Why Can’t I Get Better?” to be an excellent book on diagnosing and treating complex co-infections and conditions. His practice in Duchess Co. NY (where incidentally I contracted Lyme) has dealt with thousands of Lyme sufferers. Duchess county is estimated by CDC to have had over 100,000 Lyme infections between 2000 and 2015.

    Good luck with your battle against Lyme. I have found after antibiotics, traditional Chinese Medicine, and PEMF the Lyme symptoms persist but are lessened by exercise and heat (apparently, according to my naturopath) the Lyme does not like oxygen or heat). Any exercise helps even just a short walk I find it so hard to get out of bed but once I am up and moving the pain subsides. I can now walk long distances on difficult trails (in NL) where 10 years ago I could barely climb a flight of stairs. I used to hate hot baths but it does reduce the symptoms. I know that everyone experiences Lyme differently but perhaps my success will help others.

    By the way a good friend with MS (back in the days I thought I had MS) said that his doctor told him a “test” for MS is to take a hot bath… “if you feel worse you may have MS, if you feel better you do not have MS.”
    take care
    Greg, St. John’s NL


    1. Thank you for your info. I also received Dr. Horowitz’s second book “How Can I Get Better?” for Christmas but I haven’t been able to get to it yet. I’m sure it will be full of great info.

      That’s an interesting comment about MS and a hot bath. I know of a lot of people who detox using a bath and feel that they sometimes herx. MS or Lyme? Hmmmmm.

      I have tried things like acupuncture which I found beneficial for some treatments. There is a wonderful Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor in Nova Scotia that has taken an interest in Lyme after treating me for a bit. Between the medicines and her treatments, she is seeing some positive results in others.

      I wish there was a one treatment fits all with Lyme and co-infections but I don’t see that ever being the case as those of us that were not diagnosed early tend to have a very diverse group of symptoms.


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