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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » FOXNEWS COVER STORY: Can Lyme Disease lead to insanity, violent tendancies?

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Author Topic: FOXNEWS COVER STORY: Can Lyme Disease lead to insanity, violent tendancies?
Kayasdad
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To read more, go to:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,507044,00.html

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Visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/kayaraigh http://www.lymelightassociation.org LIGHTING THE WAY TOWARD LYME LITERACY. An up and coming organization with the goal of educating the public on Lyme disease and associated tick borne illnesses.

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Keebler
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-

Kayasdad,

thanks for posting. Guess we all need to be prepared now for everyone we know to duck when we come into a room. And, funny, I've never had rage at all - other than over news articles that are askew.


I hate these headlines and the spin, for a variety of reasons (the first being that it happens at all).


And, while some of this information is good, I can't believe they actually write:

" . . .studies have shown that most patients can be cured within a few weeks of taking these drugs. . . ."


Oy, Vey !


-

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lpkayak
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who ever wrote that is pretty uninformed

he states, "``It would depend on if the person has chronic Lyme disease,'' he said"

yeah!!! he achnoledges chronic lyme exists...

then quotes from the mayo clinic

duh

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Munch
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The author's name is Karlie Pouliot. I've been hunting all over the Foxnews website for a place to send an email to correct the erroneous info.

I printed the article and at the very bottom after the copyright info it says to send comments to:

[email protected]

[email protected]

They have the nerve to say "if it goes untreated..."

Well good luck finding a doctor to treat Lyme in Illinois! We all have to go out of state to MI, WI, or MO.

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omgwtfbbq
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It's Fox news. Only read by people with too much time and the religious fundies.
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bettyg
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copying it all here for me; good tick photo there.


Can Lyme Disease Lead to Insanity, Violent Tendencies?

Monday, March 09, 2009
By Karlie Pouliot


Can Lyme disease lead to violence, even murder?


This question has come up twice in the past month.

First in the case of Travis, the chimpanzee, which mauled a woman in Connecticut. It was reported that he was suffering from the tick-borne illness and that it was either the disease itself or the medication he was taking that caused the chimp, once a star of TV commercials, to snap.

And now, the disease is being blamed for causing the mental illness of a man accused of gunning down a pastor Sunday at a suburban Illinois church.


Police did not release the gunman's name, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported late Sunday that he is 27-year-old Terry Joe Sedlacek.

Sedlacek's mother said Lyme disease attacked her son's brain and caused the psychosis that caused him to kill the pastor and wound two others. FOX News could not immediately confirm the report.


Sedlacek was reportedly taking several medications to combat Lyme disease and seizures, which nearly killed him in 2003, the paper reported.

Although the disease has been associated with mental illness, the link between Lyme disease and violence is largely unproven, said one doctor.


``Chronic Lyme disease can be associated with seizures, depression, anxiety and even psychosis has been reported,'' said Dr. Marc Siegel, an internist and FOX News Channel contributor.
------------------------------------------


``It's possible, but the problem is, something being reported doesn't always mean it's the cause. For example, someone may have psychosis or seizures -- but Lyme disease may not be the cause -- so you have to be really careful.''


The fact is that Lyme disease is very tricky.

``Determining whether Lyme disease is the cause of a related factor is the art of medicine," Siegel said. ``It's not an automatic -- it depends on the case.''

Siegel told FOXNews.com that he would actually like to see the medical records of Sedlacekto to see if psychosis is even a possibility.
---------------------------------------


``It would depend on if the person has chronic Lyme disease,'' he said. ``You would have to look at medical records to see when he was treated and diagnosed and to see if this is even a possibility. The key question here is whether this guy ever received proper treatment early on.''
------------------------------------------------


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which normally lives in mice, squirrels, deer and other small animals. It is transmitted among these animals -- and to humans -- through the bites of certain species of ticks.


Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and upstate New York all have high rates of Lyme disease. The culprit in the Northeast is the deer tick.

In the Pacific coast, the disease is spread by the western-black legged tick.


Signs and Symptoms:

-- A very pronounced round, red rash that spreads at the site of the bite

-- Flu-like symptoms

-- Fatigue

-- Headaches

-- Sore muscles and joints

-- Fever

Treatment:

If you have early-stage Lyme disease, oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil are most often prescribed.


According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have shown that most patients can be cured within a few weeks of taking these drugs.
----------------------------------------------

But if it goes untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious health problems.


According to the Mayo Clinic, those problems include:

-- Chronic joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis), particularly of the knee

-- Neurological symptoms, such as facial palsy and neuropathy

-- Cognitive defects, such as impaired memory

-- Heart rhythm irregularities

-- Memory loss

-- Difficulty concentrating

-- Changes in mood or sleep habits


Click here to find out how you can avoid getting bitten by a tick.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
***************************************

did you notice this dr. said CHRONIC LYME!!

i hadn't heard that yet about gunman having lyme disease; NOT again! so sorry for all affected yesterday.

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Peedie
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"Although the disease has been associated with mental illness..."
What a rash generalization! I don't have Rage or Mental Illness!!!
I know of many here who have been dx'd Mental Illness by doctors who see an illness they can't dx. "Oh she's ill, but it's too complicated, it must be all in her head." Problem solved.

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Keebler
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-

As for the reporter on the article, sometimes these stories are "farmed out" to free lance groups. And, of course the IDSA ID docs are usually paid a fee as a consultant-at-large.


-

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jam338
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Maybe the Oprah/Oz link will get active again connecting the dots and highlighting it as being current news related. Just a thought.

http://www.oprah.com/community/threads/101903

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lymeloco
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http://www.courant.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-church-shooting,0,7370473.story
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bettyg
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copying COURANT article below for easier reading for us neuro folks and SHAPIRO quoted!


Authorities charge man in shooting death of pastor during sermon at southern Ill. church


By JIM SUHR | Associated Press Writer
1:29 PM EDT, March 9, 2009


MARYVILLE, Ill. (AP) --

A man was charged Monday with gunning down a pastor in a Baptist church then stabbing himself and two worshippers who tried to tackle him.


Terry J. Sedlacek, 27, of Troy, was charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and aggravated battery, said Stephanee Smith, spokeswoman for prosecutor William Mudge.


The gunman strode into First Baptist Church shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, exchanged words with the Rev. Fred Winters., then fired a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol four times until it jammed.


Winters, 45, later died of a single shot to the heart, the coroner said Monday. Authorities said they didn't know whether the married father of two knew Sedlacek. They did not comment on a possible motive or on the gunman's mental state.


"We're still not sure what the reasoning was," Illinois State Police Lt. Scott Compton said Monday.


Sedlacek once suffered bouts of erratic behavior his family said was due to Lyme disease. One expert said it would be unlikely that the tick-borne illness would make someone so violent.


"Lyme disease doesn't cause people to shoot people," said Dr. Eugene Shapiro, a Lyme disease expert at Yale University.
---------------------------


Sedlacek was ordered held without bond even as he remained hospitalized Monday in serious condition. Authorities said after the shooting, he pulled out a knife and stabbed himself in the throat while being wrestled to the ground by two worshippers, who also were wounded.


A 39-year-old congregant, Terry Bullard, was also in serious condition Monday. The third victim, Keith Melton, was treated and released.


Sedlacek was featured last year in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article detailing his battle with Lyme disease.


In the article, his mother said the disease left lesions on his brain and that doctors had diagnosed him as mentally ill before discovering the disease.


In the August 2008 article, Ruth Abernathy said her son was taking several medications and had difficulty speaking after contracting the tick-borne illness.


A phone call to a number listed for Robert and Ruth Abernathy in Troy rang unanswered Monday.


Untreated Lyme disease can spread to the bones, heart and nervous system. It can cause brain inflammation and in rare cases, problems with concentration and short-term memory, and sleep disturbances, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site.


Other rare nervous-system symptoms include severe headaches and neck stiffness, which can be treated with antibiotics, Shapiro said.


There are also isolated reports of hallucinations and psychotic illness blamed on Lyme disease.

But these are controversial and some experts, including Shapiro, believe affected people likely had pre-existing mental problems or were misdiagnosed and never had Lyme disease.


Several visitors stopped by the church Monday -- one with tear-reddened eyes who dropped off a card. All declined to comment, as did a church receptionist.


None of the 150 worshippers attending the Sunday service seemed to recognize Sedlacek, and investigators did not know details of Winters' conversation with him, Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent said, but they planned to review an audio recording of the service.


Winters deflected the first of the gunman's four rounds with a Bible, sending a confetti-like spray of paper into the air in a horrifying scene worshippers initially thought was a skit, police said.


"We just sat there waiting for what comes next not realizing that he had wounded the pastor," said Linda Cunningham, whose husband is a minister of adult education at the church.


Winters had stood on an elevated platform to deliver his sermon about finding happiness in the workplace -- titled "Come On, Get Happy" -- and managed to run halfway down the sanctuary's side aisle before collapsing after the attack, Cunningham said.


First Baptist had an average attendance of 32 people when Winters became senior pastor in 1987; it now has about 1,200 members and three Sunday services, according to the church's Web site.


Winters was former president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and an adjunct professor for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, according to the site.


He hosted Pizza with the Pastor dinners in his home, and the church organized bowling parties for fathers and daughters, karate classes and a golf league.


The church sits along a busy two-lane highway on the east side of Maryville, a fast-growing village of more than 7,000 about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis.


A farm sits directly across from the church, but subdivisions of newer homes can been easily seen from every side.


Associated Press Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner contributed to this report from Chicago.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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bettyg
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...oprah, 1201 posters now.

1 new poster did state about the man shooting his pastor due to lyme and about the chimp!

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lymeloco
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Thanks Betty! [kiss]
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MariaA
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Isn't Brian Fallon at Columbia's Lyme center doing a Lyme psychosis study right now?

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psano2
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Eugene Shapiro's comments need to be countered by someone from ILADS or LDA.
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Robin123
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We're on it...
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hurtingramma
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I heard the story on NPR. It's really getting out there. If only we could get rid of Shapiro's comments!

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bettyg
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Replies: 1,215

someone just posted entire article of the shooting above with all the lyme info in it.

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Lymeorsomething
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Shapiro is such an a-hole...

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'Kete-tracker
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"...several medications to combat Lyme & seizures..." DUH! Anyone know what all these drugs Were? Aggression from altered brain chemistry due to an Rx drug reaction, or drug interactions, is a LOT more plausible than, say, Borrelia Burgdorferi targeting the mood centers of the brain.
(I recall Seizure meds aren't exactly w/o inter-reaction dangers)

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Tincup
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omg said... "It's Fox news. Only read by people with too much time and the religious fundies."

Well that's nice.

[Big Grin]

The article said.. ""Lyme disease doesn't cause people to shoot people," said Dr. Eugene Shapiro, a Lyme disease expert at Yale University."

No, but YOU sure can make them want to, you little #*$#^*&$#@#.

[lol]

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ThatColorGreen
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"lyme disease expert"

if big brother wasnt watching, i have a few things i'd like to say about him......

........i suppose... "Karma's a Bi*^&" will have to do...

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Amanda24
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Haven't been on this site in over a year. Thank you for all of your comments above. I have chronic lyme (undiagnosed for 5+ years...receiving treatment for 2+ years) and was in tears last night regarding all of this news. Isn't it funny that it takes tragedy to get this serious issue on the news? Otherwise...nobody seems to care. I don't think many people can relate to considering it a huge accomplishment to get up and go to work each day. I did it today! Yeah me. Being a financial analyst is a huge struggle. The numbers are so difficult during a relapse.
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chroniccosmic
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I am coming back to lymenet after a time off just because of this local issue of Terry Sedlacek. I know this family and live in this area. His parents have had fundraisers and have always reached out for help with Terry who has been ill for quite some time.

I am in contact with a mutual friend who will put me in contact with the parents because I can't get this boy off my mind. And I feel strongly about not letting him portray him as a monster.

My daughter and I have both have lyme and yes, there were rages, not as violent as this but definitive changes to our personalities.

We need to keep these people in our thoughts.

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Abxnomore
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There's a link in activism where you can comment on a journalist article http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/8/1608

We should let this opportunity pass to bring lyme awareness to the public.

Cosmiclyme, thanks for posting. It's such a tragedy.

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omgwtfbbq
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quote:
Originally posted by Tincup:
omg said... "It's Fox news. Only read by people with too much time and the religious fundies."

Well that's nice.

It's true, you just might be in denial you are a fundie. For the rest of the US they are considered a small step above the national enquirer. [Razz]
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luvdogs
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Does anybody know who his treating MD was/is?

I know Lyme causes mental illness as I have seen it one too many times. It think it is about time they started to look at this side of the disease. Instead of locking people up, they should rule out TBDs or other bacterial or even viral infections to see if they can be treated in ways that will get to the root, instead of masking the symptoms.

But yes, they may need psych meds and may need to be institutionalized if they are a danger to themselves or society - but the psych meds are in addition to antibiotics!

In addition, I have seen many Lyme patients experience paradoxical reactions to psych meds.

As an offshoot of this, many Lyme patients have a Lyme- induced bipolar disorder and then such meds as SSRIs can cause mania and psychosis in bipolar patients.

These are just my thoughts....

I hope that this provokes further investigation into the actual destruction that Lyme can cause to the sufferer as well as to those around him / her, especially if it has progressed to late-stage.

This can be avoided, but of course, rarely is avoided bc ducks all-too-often miss the diagnoses and proper treatment from the get go.

It is time this changes!

[ 03-10-2009, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: luvdogs ]

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nomoremuscles
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Doggies,

I'm with you. I've seen so many people whose Lyme and co's trigger terrible psych symptoms, some losing touch with reality completely. A friend of mine, infected since he was a kid, is awfully close to being mentally disabled by Lyme, though he is not in any way violent.

I would not be surprised a bit if this tragedy was caused by bugs. I too would bet that most, if not all, mental illness is undiagnosed infection of one sort or another. The ID docs have been focused so closely on acute disease that they have, in my opinion, completely missed all the inflammatory and autoimmune diseases being caused by chronic pathogens.

You have to wonder: Why did they go to an idiot like Shapiro, when Fallon, a psychiatrist specializing in Lyme disease -- at his own freaking ivy-league Lyme center -- would have been far more expert? (Assuming he wouldn't have hedged his answer too much.)

The thing that worries me about this story is that the IDSA types will say the gunman had been treated for Lyme. They'll insist that he was, in fact, cured of his Lyme, and that this tragedy is what happens when looney activists insist on "chronic Lyme" and more abx, and keep patients from the psych meds they really need.

That's what worries me.

[ 03-10-2009, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: nomoremuscles ]

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Tracy9
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I mean, the term "Lyme Rage" is not a new one....

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'Kete-tracker
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OH I so HOPE that this latest gunman in Alabama (Teusday's news) doesn't involve a Hint of Lyme involvement.

So far, it's a fellow who was living with his mom, burned the house down (w/ her in it) then drove around "cleaning out his family".

SO tragic. Don't know What to think.
Lets' all pray for more settled times.

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bettyg
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cosmic, thanks for coming back and telling us you know this family, etc; how awful for them as well.
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luvs2ride
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momoremuscles said:

quote:
The thing that worries me about this story is that the IDSA types will say the gunman had been treated for Lyme. They'll insist that he was, in fact, cured of his Lyme, and that this tragedy is what happens when looney activists insist on "chronic Lyme" and more abx, and keep patients from the psych meds they really need.
I believe this man's attorney is going to try to use Lyme disease as a defense. If so, that is probably going to give this disease more public understanding and awareness than we ever hoped and dreamed.

Let's hope it is a public trial, much like Casey Anthony's, and truth about lyme is brought to light. I have read the St. Louis article printed about this guy last August and I think the attorney and his client have strong evidence.

This boy has a clear medical history that solidly leads to his lyme infection. Doctors were so convinced, they put him in a medically induced coma so they could give him IVs of antibiotics for lyme and erlichia. Where on earth were they putting the antibiotics that they had to induce a coma for the poor guy to be treated?

I, for one, am hoping this is his defense, that it is very publicized and blows the lid off IDSA's position of "hard to catch and easy to cure".

Not only can lyme cause mood swings and rages, but so can some of the meds. I have just begun Mepron and altered mood is one of the possible side effects.

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treepatrol
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Lyme Disease and Violence: No Link
Experts Say Lyme Disease Can't Lead to Violence or Psychosis
By Daniel J. DeNoon


WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDMarch 10, 2009 -- Lyme disease can't make a person violent or psychotic, infectious disease specialists tell WebMD.


According to media reports, the family and lawyer of a man accused of the murder of an Illinois pastor blame the man's deteriorating mental health on longstanding Lyme disease.


The experts who spoke with WebMD have not reviewed the man's medical records and are familiar with the case only through media reports. But speaking in general terms, the experts reject the idea that violent behavior can be blamed on Lyme disease.


"I don't know of any convincing evidence that Lyme disease can cause violence or psychosis," Gary Wormser, MD, tells WebMD. Wormser is director of the Lyme Disease Center and chief of infectious diseases at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y.


"We can be clear Lyme disease does not lead to psychotic and violent behaviors," William Schaffner, MD, tells WebMD. Schaffner is president-elect of the National Foundation for


Infectious Diseases and chair of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Well there you go geez



In an August 2008 article -- written before the alleged attack by Terry J. Sedlacek -- the St. Louis Post-Dispatch chronicled the man's decade-long mental health problems. The article suggested his symptoms were due to Lyme disease.


But such "chronic" Lyme disease is "not a sound diagnosis" for anyone, Schaffner says. Untreated Lyme disease certainly can go on for a very long time.


And Lyme disease damage doesn't necessarily go away with treatment. But Schaffner says there is little evidence that prolonged antibiotic therapy -- or other radical, unproven treatments -- benefits patients.


"The history I've gleaned from the news reports suggests this man was being treated for supposed chronic Lyme disease, a diagnosis that needs to be looked at with great skepticism," Schaffner says.


"If this was a misfocused attention on Lyme disease, his real underlying problem was not given attention and therapy. Because Lyme disease, in whatever manifestation, does not lead to violent and psychotic behavior."


Wormser has actually looked for Lyme disease in Missouri, near the Illinois border where the man was supposed to have contracted the disease.


"In that part of Illinois, that this person lived in, it would be almost unheard of to have true Lyme disease," he says.


"But so many people get misdiagnosed because of doctors sending samples to labs that give unreliable results. I would not be surprised if this individual were misdiagnosed."


But even if the man did have Lyme disease, the evidence suggests it could not have been responsible for his recent behavior.


Wormser actually tested psychiatric inpatients in his area, which is in the heart of the U.S. region most affected by Lyme disease. Patients suffering psychiatric illnesses were no more likely to have present or past Lyme disease than other area residents.


That's not to say that Lyme disease can't affect the brain. It can.


"Like most manifestations of this disease, neurological symptoms are hard to recognize and manage," Schaffner says.


"You can have an encephalitis picture that almost always occurs with damage to one of the nerves to the face. This causes paralysis of part of the face. These are part of the later manifestations of Lyme disease."


"There is no question that Lyme disease has neurological manifestations," Wormser says. "But frank psychosis to the point of killing someone would be really far fetched. It is really clear they are dealing with a situation that probably wasn't Lyme disease to begin with."

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Posts: 10564 | From PA Where the Creeks are Red | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
luvdogs
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I hate those guys. They are out to destroy lives and hurt people more than the psychotic man who kills somebody in a rage.

There is no other explanation for their unfounded statements and stupidity.

I really wonder if the idsa group could be considered outright evil.

I wonder if we could write their behavior off as being lyme-induced? Nahh Their behavior is way too well thought out.

[ 03-11-2009, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: luvdogs ]

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doc
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omg Why is fox number 1 rated ? humm.(not that the artical was unbaised) JUST SAYIN
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Kayasdad
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A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that mental illness associated with Lyme disease is highly unusual, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America said Lyme disease "is not known to cause violent behavior."

But a study published in 2002 in the American Journal of Psychiatry and carried out in the Czech Republic found that 36 percent of 900 psychiatric subjects had antibodies to the bacterium linked to Lyme disease, versus 18 percent of 900 healthy control subjects.


http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/03/10/church.shooting/index.html?iref=newssearch

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