Researchers map neuroinflammation and nervous system manifestations of Lyme disease. | Healthinnovations

About 15% of patients with Lyme disease develop peripheral and central
nervous system involvement, often accompanied by debilitating and
painful symptoms. Now, researchers from Tulane National Primate Research
Center and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center have
indicated that inflammation plays a causal role in the array of
neurologic changes associated with Lyme disease.  The team also showed
that the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone prevents many of these

The researchers explain that Lyme disease in humans results from the bite of a tick infected with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi
(Bb). As Bb disseminates throughout the body, it can cause arthritis,
carditis, and neurologic deficits. When the nervous system is involved,
it is called Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB).
Clinical symptoms of LNB of the
peripheral nervous system may include facial nerve palsy, neurogenic
pain radiating along the back into the legs and feet, limb pain, sensory
loss, or muscle weakness. Central nervous system involvement can
manifest as headache, fatigue, memory loss, learning disability,
depression, meningitis, and encephalopathy.  The results of the current
study suggest that inflammation has a causal role in the pathogenesis of
acute Lyme neuroborreliosis.

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