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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » alzheimers question

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Author Topic: alzheimers question
Member # 10531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Leonard     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I read a post on the general discussion group about alzheimers and decided to post this question here because there seems to be more people logged in to the medical questions.

I was diagnosed with lyme 3 months ago after getting bit by a tick in Maryland, since then I have been doing a lot of research on lyme and all its symptoms.

As I was doing research it really struck me how much this has in common with some of the symtoms that my sister had. She lived in Wisconsin for a number of years. Appx. 10 years ago she had problems with painful joints and muscles. The drs. thought she might have fibromialgia (sp?), later she started having problems with her memory. She went to drs. all over and even had a battery of tests at the Mayo clinic. All said they thought she had some form of alzheimers but not the classic kind since she was still making new memory.

She has deteriorated to the point where she can hardly communicate and has trouble with her sight.

I am almost convinced that her problems might have started with undiagnosed lyme.

My question is "Does anyone have any experience or know of someone who has, whether advanced alzheimers that was caused by lyme, can be reversed and the person have some semblence of a quality of life?" She is 66 years old.

I am going to see a LLMD is Missouri in January and will discuss this with him, but I also would appreciate anyone else's input.

Thanks a bunch and a Blessed Christmas to all


Posts: 43 | From Pella, Iowa | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
Member # 81

Icon 1 posted      Profile for lou     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, indeed, lyme can cause symptoms that look like Alzheimer's. You might want to do a search of the lymenet archives because this has been discussed before, including some very interesting recent research published by a pathologist.

Up at the top of page, there is a string of words starting with "my profile," click on the word search and fill in boxes, probably just do a search of medical forum. Sometimes people misspell this word.

Thinking there might be something on this in the newby links. See top of the list of threads. Another good site is This last one might even have the published journal article on that recent lyme/alzheimers research that I mentioned.

Did you read the thread I posted in the last couple of days with the title "mind germs?" Don't remember if it specifically mentioned alzheimers, but it did demonstrate that lyme bacteria can cause other mental problems.

There was also an article in a patient newsletter about a man whose father had ALZ symptoms and when he died, an autopsy showed spirochetes in the brain. So basically, he was not treated and this caused his death. The son had lyme and was treated. They were hunters in the upper midwest somewhere.

I certainly think that with your sister's location and her history of joint problems, that lyme should be considered. She is too young to give up on. Does she have any unrelated diseases too, or are all of her symptoms found on the lyme checklist?

Posts: 8430 | From Not available | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Frontal lobe lyme is common in Wisconsin... One sign is a total personality shift. The person can get belligerent and in some cases dangerous to themselves and others...

One of my step daughters was that way. I am sure it was lyme but no one would listen... She has disappeared (thank goodness).

Lots of strange people in Wisconsin.... Beware..


Posts: 192 | From Phoenix, AZ | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
just don
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Better yet, here's a better suggestion. yes it truly sounds as IF your sister has lyme,,,lots of it in Wisconsin.

Oh by the way I am in your neibouring state of 'Go Big Red Huskers'. ARe you east Iowa or west Iowa?? I am going to Omaha next weekend "I think"

Anyway can you call Dr. C and get an double appointment for your sister and yourself?? Lots of explanation can be heard at same time,,,thereby saving 'lots' of valuable doctor time.. Can you beg borrow or steal your sister for the trip down,,,have her join you in ANY way!!

Go the distance and include her,,,whatever it takes,,,IF it is NOT the right DX for her,,,so you KNOW for sure!!! Dr. C sees those kinds of patients too(I think),,,he can sort it all out,if anybody CAN!!!!

If you DONT take her there you will forever and ever wonder IF you could have made a diffence in HER life. Dont take THAT chance,,,ever!!! mayo doesnt know beans about lyme. They dx everything BUT......

Even if you have to drive North first,,,pick up your sister,,,go back to your house,,,rest up,,,drive to Missouri!!!! See how easy THAT is??? There are other ways to skin the cat too,,,let ME know(PM me) IF that doesnt work for YOU!!(I have an ace up my sleeve)

But please,,,she IS family,,,take her along,,,even if you have to postpone a few days or couple weeks to get a long enough time slot.

Cant believe Dr. C would think two patients take much longer than ONE!!! And take a significant other along for both of you,,,more people KNOW the 'facts' the better your whole family will feel!!! remaining--just don--

just don

Posts: 4548 | From Middle of midwest | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Check this site
Posts: 636 | From Wroclaw, Poland | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Icon 1 posted      Profile for lou     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And here is an abstract from a published journal article on this subject, from the database of the National Library of Medicine:

J Alzheimers Dis. 2004 Dec;6(6):639-49; discussion 673-81.

Borrelia burgdorferi persists in the brain in chronic lyme neuroborreliosis and may be associated with Alzheimer disease.

* Miklossy J,
* Khalili K,
* Gern L,
* Ericson RL,
* Darekar P,
* Bolle L,
* Hurlimann J,
* Paster BJ.

University Institute of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, University Medical School (CHUV), 1011, Lausanne, Switzerland.

The cause, or causes, of the vast majority of Alzheimer's disease cases are unknown. A number of contributing factors have been postulated, including infection.

It has long been known that the spirochete Treponema pallidum, which is the infective agent for syphilis, can in its late stages cause dementia, chronic inflammation, cortical atrophy and amyloid deposition.

Spirochetes of unidentified types and strains have previously been observed in the blood, CSF and brain of 14 AD patients tested and absent in 13 controls. In three of these AD cases spirochetes were grown in a medium selective for Borrelia burgdorferi.

In the present study, the phylogenetic analysis of these spirochetes was made. Positive identification of the agent as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was based on genetic and molecular analyses. Borrelia antigens and genes were co-localized with beta-amyloid deposits in these AD cases.

The data indicate that Borrelia burgdorferi may persist in the brain and be associated with amyloid plaques in AD. They suggest that these spirochetes, perhaps in an analogous fashion to Treponema pallidum, may contribute to dementia, cortical atrophy and amyloid deposition.

Further in vitro and in vivo studies may bring more insight into the potential role of spirochetes in AD.

PMID: 15665404 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Posts: 8430 | From Not available | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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YES- I began going into dementia and am mentally fine now after 9 months of IV Rocephin!!!
Here is a story of someone who ultimately died because they need more treatment but who COULD have lived- who had been diagnosd with Alz for nine whole years pre-treatment!!!

Shirley Forsman
Shirley Forsman
February 6, 1930 - November 9, 1999

Shirley Forsman was mis-diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease for 9 years before she died of Lyme disease in Pine County, Minnesota.

Many thanks to Lyme Alliance for allowing this excerpt-written by Tom Grier, from their newsletter:

"Shirley Forsman, RN, had a history of Lyme disease at age 59 and was treated with two weeks of Doxycycline. It was about two years later that Shirley was diagnosed with early progressive Alzheimer's disorder and her health steadily and quite rapidly declined. Within a few short years, Shirley needed complete around the clock care that was provided by her daughter, Katie Harp. Shirley was no longer able to walk, talk or perform daily functions such as dressing, having conversations or controlling her bodily functions.

"Always suspecting that her mother's mutli-system problems were caused by unresolved Lyme disease, Katie fought for years to have her tested and treated. Her requests were always met with resistance until she found a young Bemidji internist who was willing to do a trial of IV Rocephin just to see if the patient responded. Amazingly, the patient responded favorably and almost immediately.

After having been nearly completely non-responsive to any outside stimuli for over two years, Shirley was now beginning to recognize family members. She could form sentences that were a few words long and was now standing and walking short distances. In fact, the physician was now recommending physical therapy and a walker.

The most dramatic change was perhaps the change in the frequency and severity of Shirley's seizures. Grand mal seizures could be expected almost every week and they were often violent enough to throw her out of bed. The nightly thrashing and lashing about in her bed came to an abrupt stop shortly after antibiotics were introduced. In the end, Shirley was going as long as two months without any major seizures or bed thrashing. Her muscle twitches in her face were completely gone.

Upon seeing this change in Shirley's health, the attending doctor changed the diagnosis from Alzheimer's to neurological Lyme disease. However, shortly after switching Shirley from her IV Rocephin to a combination of orals, her health began to decline. After a series of seizures, Shirley died at age 69."

Her death certificate lists Cause of Death as: seizure disorder as a complication of Lyme disease.

There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

Posts: 5639 | From Aptos CA USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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