This blog has morphed to be largely about Lyme disease research and Bob's personal experiences with treatment for these strange, debilitating, and politically-charged medical conditions. Lyme disease newly infects an estimated 300,000 Americans every year.
There is a paucity of data on human exposure to tick-borne pathogens in the western United States. This study reports prevalence of antibodies against three clinically important tick-borne pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Rickettsia spp.) among 249 people in five counties in northern California. Individuals from Humboldt County were recruited and answered a questionnaire to assess risk of exposure to tick-borne pathogens. Samples from other counties were obtained from a blood bank and were anonymized. Seventeen (6.8%) samples were seropositive for antibodies against at least one pathogen: five for A. phagocytophilum, eight for B. burgdorferi, and four for Rickettsia spp. Women and people aged 26–35 had higher seroprevalence compared to other demographic groups. Santa Cruz County had no seropositive individuals, northern Central Valley counties had three seropositive individuals (all against A. phagocytophilum), and Humboldt County had 14 (all three pathogens), a significant, four-fold elevated risk of exposure. The Humboldt County questionnaire revealed that a bird feeder in the yard was statistically associated with exposure to ticks, and lifetime number of tick bites was associated with increasing age, time watching wildlife, and time hiking. Three-quarters of respondents were concerned about tick-associated disease, 81.0% reported experiencing tick bites, and 39.0% of those bitten reported a tick-borne disease symptom, including skin lesions (76.4%), muscle aches (49.1%), joint pain (25.5%), or fever (23.6%). Despite high levels of concern, many individuals who had been bitten by a tick were not tested for a tick-borne pathogen, including those with consistent symptoms. We highlight the need for further research and dissemination of information to residents and physicians in Northern California regarding tick-associated disease, so that appropriate medical attention can be rapidly sought and administered.
from - https://www.sciencealert.com/there-s-mounting-evidence-that-parkinson-s-starts-in-the-gut-not-the-brain?fbclid=IwAR3uTCY-8-WCsO0XiNfUrxpZuWB2G-mxfAe0FhSFtUWG5Y4WT0_od3xkKTc
There's Mounting Evidence That Parkinson's Starts in The Gut - Not The Brain
(c)DAVID NIELD 17 MAR 2019
Scientists have found mounting evidence that Parkinson's could start in the gut before spreading to the brain, with one study in 2017 observing lower rates of the disease in patients who had undergone a procedure called a truncal vagotomy.
The operation removes sections of the vagus nerve - which links the digestive tract with the brain - and over the course of a five-year study, patients who had this link completely removed were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's than those who hadn't.
According to the team led by Bojing Liu from the Karolinska Instituet in Sweden, that's a significant difference, and it backs up earlier work linking the development of the brain disease to something happening inside our bellies.
If we can understand more about how this link operates, we might be better able to stop it.
"These results provide preliminary evidence that Parkinson's disease may start in the gut," said Liu.
"Other evidence for this hypothesis is that people with Parkinson's disease often have gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, that can start decades before they develop the disease."
The vagus nerve helps control various unconscious processes like heart rate and digestion, and resecting parts of it in a vagotomy is usually done to remove an ulcer if the stomach is producing a dangerous level of acid.
For this study, the researchers looked at 40 years of data from Swedish national registers, to compare 9,430 people who had a vagotomy against 377,200 people from the general population who hadn't.
The likelihood of people in these two groups to develop Parkinson's was statistically similar at first - until the researchers looked at the type of vagotomy that had been carried out on the smaller group.
In total, 19 people (just 0.78 percent of the sample) developed Parkinson's more than five years after a truncal (complete) vagotomy, compared to 60 people (1.08 percent) who had a selective vagotomy.
Compare that to the 3,932 (1.15 percent) of people who had no surgery and developed Parkinson's after being monitored for at least five years, and it seems clear that the vagus nerve is playing some kind of role here.
So what's going on here? One hypothesis the scientists put forward is that gut proteins start folding in the wrong way, and that genetic 'mistake' gets carried up to the brain somehow, with the mistake being spread from cell to cell.
Parkinson's develops as neurons in the brain get killed off, leading to tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with movement - but scientists aren't sure how it's caused in the first place. The new study gives them a helpful tip about where to look.
The Swedish research isn't alone in its conclusions. In 2016, tests on mice showed links between certain mixes of gut bacteria and a greater likelihood of developing Parkinson's.
What's more, earlier in 2017 a study in the US identified differences between the gut bacteria of those with Parkinson's compared with those who didn't have the condition.
All of this is useful for scientists looking to prevent Parkinson's, because if we know where it starts, we can block off the source.
But we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves - as the researchers behind the new study point out, Parkinson's is complex condition, and they weren't able to include controls for all potential factors, including caffeine intake and smoking.
It's also worth noting that Parkinson's is classed as a syndrome: a collection of different but related symptoms that may have multiple causes.
"Much more research is needed to test this theory and to help us understand the role this may play in the development of Parkinson's," said Lui.
The research was published in Neurology. A version of this story was first published in April 2017.
Both in test tubes and in insect models, cranberry compounds keep infectious bacteria from developing resistance to common antibiotics.
As bacteria develop resistance to an increasing number of antibiotics, doctors have been searching for a way to counter antibiotic resistance and increase the power of antimicrobial agents. This is a complicated problem, however. As a last resort, researchers have turned to bacteria-munching viruses called bacteriophages. On the other hand, new antibiotics appear to be far in the future. Could cranberry compounds hold a key against resistance?
What is the future outlook for Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses?
Lyme Disease educational opportunities for Health Care Professionals and Patients | View Online
May 29, 2019
Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center
What is the future outlook for Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses?
The cumulative prevalence of chronic illness due to Lyme disease in the US is high and growing. One study indicates prevalence may be over a million and as high as 1.9 million in 2020. In the future, geographic expansion of ticks and tick-borne diseases will continue, and climate change will likely further exacerbate the problem.
More tick-borne diseases
More people sick with Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases
Solutions our Center provides
Improved education and awareness
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7000 well-characterized individual blood and tissue samples collected for research
SLICE Studies research and collaborations
Multidisciplinary research to better understand and validate disease mechanisms and the patient experience
Research toward improved diagnostics and treatments
June 14, 2019 : Lyme Disease Topics at Johns Hopkins
Lyme Disease affects over 300,000 new patients every year which are clustered in and around the major metropolitan regions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Timely diagnosis of acute Lyme Disease depends on the accurate identification of the early erythema migrans skin lesion. Untreated, Lyme Disease can progress to disseminated infection involving the nervous system, heart, and joints. Antibiotic treatment of Lyme Disease is effective in resolving the objective manifestations of infection, however, a subset of patients develop persistent symptoms called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS).
Experts from Johns Hopkins have carefully described the patient symptoms, physical findings and laboratory finding in a well document case series of patients with PTLDS.The diagnosis of all manifestations of Lyme Disease and PTLDS in the clinical practice of medicine is challenging and this course seeks to provide education to healthcare practitioners who may see patients with the spectrum of illness associated with Lyme Disease and PTLDS.
Target Health Care Professional Audience: Family Practice, General Practice, Infectious Diseases, Nurse Practitioner, Rheumatology
Emergence of Lyme disease in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, 1993: a case-control study of risk factors and evaluation of reporting patterns. Orloski KA, Campbell GL, Genese CA, Beckley JW, Schriefer ME, Spitalny KC, Dennis DT Am J Epidemiol 1998 Feb 15; 4(147):391-7
A new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that a slow-growing variant form of Lyme bacteria caused severe symptoms in a mouse model. The slow-growing variant form of Lyme bacteria, according to the researchers, may account for the persistent symptoms seen in ten to twenty percent of Lyme patients that are not cured by the current Lyme antibiotic treatment. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-04-three-antibiotic-cocktail-persister-lyme-bacteria.html
Yes, Mepron, despite how weird it looks (like yellow paint) it's a useful medicine. I took ot for about a year once, and it cleared up a lot of the issues in me old cranium department."
"For mepron to work you have to push the dose- 5cc tid for 5 months minimum and must be taken with a huge amount of fat- in absorption studies, the test subjects had 23g of fat with each dose! I had ordered blood level measurements after the third week, goal being 20+, but this test may no longer be available.
I use artemesinin SOD from Researched Nutritionals, but as with all artemesia products there must be a regular break in treatment- typically 3 weeks on and one off.
Cryptolepis, green tea egcg and sida are commonly added.
Specialty OTCs from Byron White and Susan McCamish help some but not others, and some have a hard time tolerating a full dose.
I also like to add transfer factors."
I think'll just file this, since I have already done that treatment. Just thought I would spread the word.
*Study finds tiny larval ticks can transmit /Borrelia miyamotoi/* /Lyme Science Blog/, by Daniel Cameron, MD, MPH, Mt. Kisco, New York Dr. Cameron is a nationally recognized leader for his expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
Nymphal and adult black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, harbor a growing number of pathogens.
But researchers are now discovering that larval ticks, which are even smaller, may pose an equal threat to public safety as a new study describes larval ticks infected with the tick-borne bacteria /Borrelia miyamotoi/.
/Borrelia miyamotoi/is a relapsing feverspirochetetransmitted by ticks in the /Ixodes ricinus/ complex. In the eastern United States, /B. miyamotoi/ is transmitted by /I. scapularis,/ which also vectors several other pathogens including /B. burgdorferi/sensu stricto.
In contrast to Lyme borreliae, /B. miyamotoi/can be transmitted vertically from infected female ticks to their progeny. Therefore, in addition to nymphs and adults, larvae can vector /B. miyamotoi/to wildlife and human hosts. Two widely varying filial infection prevalence (FIP) estimates - 6% and 73% - have been reported previously from two vertically infected larval clutches; to our knowledge, no other estimates of FIP or transovarial transmission (TOT) rates for /B. miyamotoi/have been described in the literature. Thus, we investigated TOT and FIP of larval clutches derived from engorged females collected from hunter-harvested white-tailed deer in 2015 (n = 664) and 2016 (n = 599) from Maine, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
After engorged females oviposited in the lab, they (n = 492) were tested for /B. miyamotoi/infection by PCR. Subsequently, from each clutch produced by an infected female, larval pools, as well as 100 individual eggs or larvae, were tested. The TOT rate of the 11 infected females was 90.9% (95% CI; 57.1–99.5%) and the mean FIP of the resulting larval clutches was 84.4% (95% CI; 68.1–100%).
Even though the overall observed vertical transmissionrate (the product of TOT and FIP; 76.7%, 95% CI; 44.6–93.3%) was high, additional horizontal transmission may be required for enzootic maintenance of /B. miyamotoi/ based on the results of a previously published deterministic model. Further investigation of TOT and FIP variability and the underlying mechanisms, both in nature and the laboratory, will be needed to resolve this question. Meanwhile, studies quantifying the acarological risk of /Borrelia miyamotoi/ disease need to consider not only nymphs and adults, but larval /I. scapularis/ as well.