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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Does Babesia infect the brain?

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Author Topic: Does Babesia infect the brain?
tosho
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If yes - how is it possible to get rid of babs in a brain?

If I understand correctly Mepron does not penetrate brain. [confused]

"Drug penetration into cerebrospinal fluid is minimal; atovaquone cerebrospinal fluid concentrations rarely exceed 1% of the plasma atovaquone concentration"

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=127192

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adamm
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$#!t
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tosho
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I think I know the answer - bactrim, flagyl and artemisinin cross blood brain barrier very well and they work on babesia. So maybe they are good adjunctive therapy to Mepron.

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Keebler
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-

There was a thread here the other day with a link that reference neurobabesiosis but it may have been a canine strain. Still, that says a lot.

=========

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/79664

Topic: Interesting patent application. Describes neuro-babs as "incurable."

Adamm posted this thread with a link to an article - some discussion in posts, too.

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Tincup
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From what I understand and I would hope others would have a better understanding and more info to add here....

The jury is still out on this.. especially when certain specific strains and infected hosts are used to answer this question.

Example- Malaria, what we refer to as the "cousin" of babesiosis...

The infected, malaria ridden blood cells are transported through the blood vessels. Many of the infected cells should be cleared by the spleen.. which is why it is so dangerous for those with no spleen to get babesiosis or malaria....

Anyhow... the malaria infected cells... when they get in the brain they are able to latch onto the inside of blood vessels.. especially in the little capillaries.. kind of like getting snagged on the vessel "lining" because of their roughness and shape (maybe other glue/protein factors involved, etc?)

These latched on cells bunch up and block the oxygenated blood flow to the tissue in the brain. This causes tissue die-off... which we might see as neuro problems if we had malaria.

When someone with malaria is treated, the blood cells become better... but the clogs in the brain are still there and those "stuck" spots can spit out new baby malaria.

BUT....

We are talking about babesia. And there are MANY strains of babesia.

Scientists have been researching this situation to see if yes, babesia can be like maleria... or not... and what strains do what.

From what I understand... some of the babesia strain organisms are not as "rough" as the malaria. They don't appear to be able to latch on to the inside of the blood vessels in the brain like the malaria can.

From what I've read in the past...

Some babesia strains may be able to latch on the inside of blood vessels but in very few numbers. They aren't sure if it is a glue situation or cell shape situation or what that could cause this.

BUT..

The studies have only been done (unless I missed it) in animals so far. OUR brains, which aren't like animals in many ways... I know, speak for myself here...

May be different totally when babesia is introduced... than what happens in the animal brains.

AND... the results so far are based on a variety of animal strains mostly.

Sooooooo..

The news looks good so far from what I can tell.

The key, in my opinion, would be to treat babesia early and all the way.

Because babesia (strain dependent).... can be in latched onto OTHER (non-brain) tissue.

Bottom line... the studies in MY opinion, and from what I've seen... have not concluded that brain infection is as wicked as it could be with malaria.

If I HAD to have one of these two diseases, I'd pick babesia until the research is conclusive either way.

I hope that made some sense?

AND...

I am NOT a doctor nor a scientist.

I am a movie star tonight. No wait.. it is on Friday night that I become a movie star.

[Big Grin]

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adamm
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DOn't know whether or not this is BS (as so much out there about vector-borne disease is), but according to this site, if cerebral malaria doesn't kill you, you generally wind up fine:

http://www.malariasite.com/MALARIA/Complications3.htm

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Erica741
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quote:
Originally posted by tosho:
I think I know the answer - bactrim, flagyl and artemisinin cross blood brain barrier very well and they work on babesia. So maybe they are good adjunctive therapy to Mepron.

Hmm...this explains why I have get such strong neuro reactions to artemesinin even after 5 months on Mepron!

What about Tindamax? I got a major increase in neuro babs symptoms on Tindamax + Mepron.

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Jill E.
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I've heard of Larium being used for Babesia in the brain, unfortunately it can cause hallucinations and other severe psych symptoms.

Jill

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bv
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Erica 741, Tindamax is tinidazole, which is a close cousin of metronidazole, which is flagyl. Essentially they are the same drugs, though many feel tindamx is easier on the body than flagyl.

Both tindamax & flagy have very robust penetration of blood/brain barrier---both are used as a cyst buster otherwise in TBD treatment. It makes sense to me that you would get similar reactions to tindamx & flagyl

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adamm
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Larium--can be as bad for brain cells as it is for babesia.
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Hoosiers51
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I think that babesia can get into bone marrow. Is it easier to get into bone marrow than the brain?

adamm, I didn't click on that link, but I have a great uncle that had malaria from when he was younger (I think he actually went on vacation to another part of the world), and he took the quinine, got better, and I don't believe he ever had a relapse since.

Granted, he probably got treated right away. But yes, he seems fine now. Thing of the past. I think it depends upon the strain of malaria you get.

In fact, he is an older man, and in his 80s he looks like he could easily be in his 60s. So he's in great health.

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nellypointis
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quote:
Originally posted by adamm:
Larium--can be as bad for brain cells as it is for babesia.

????

Nelly

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tosho
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Nelly - I think Adamm meant that Lariam may be neurotoxic.
I have found sth like this:
http://www.lariaminfo.org/

After reading this I am not sure I will touch Lariam [Razz]

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nellypointis
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quote:
Originally posted by tosho:
After reading this I am not sure I will touch Lariam [Razz]

Tosho,

I am well aware that Lariam got a very bad reputation due to the fact that some people have had pretty extreme reactions when on it (incl suicide and murder!

I myself went through near Hell when I first started taking it (brain burning, very bad headaches, crying non stop, wanting to throw myself out of the window, feeling I could not control my emotions at all, screaming at people in shops etc etc.)

Had I not been through the EXACT SAME THINGS when I started the atovaquone (Wellvone or Mepron) and again when I first went on artemisinin, I feel I could've killed myself or somebody else. But knowing it was most probably the dyingbugs speaking (or the inflammation in my brain caused by the bugs dying or something similar), I just braced myself, bit the bullet and got through that bloody awful initial period. In fact it was quite long, lasting several weeks, and again after a break.

I am quite sure all the "well" people who have such reactions to Lariam have some form of dormant protozoal infections in their brains which gets "upset" by the Lariam (not necessarily Babesia or Malaria-could be Toxoplasmosis or???)

But if people have evidence that Lariam actually causes damage to brain cells... I'm interested. I've been on it for ages. Not one symptom these days, except if I go off it, my (babesia-caused?) heart symptoms make a come back after a few weeks

Nelly

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jt345
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Hi

I was on clindamyacin and flagyl ,for along time.
The way it was explianed too me was that the bab hung out with the lyme.And the lyme did cross over into the brain.

For some uknown reason the strain in Wisconsin and Minnesota,would trigger a scitzophrinia (spelling) more than other strains. I don't know if that is true,but I can alwasys tell when I have too treat again,by if I hear my voice being called in the distance(sometimes it is loud enough too make me jump)And if I start too see the man in a pair of brown coveralls in the side of my vission. All signs of scitzophrinia.

So by my own experience Yes I think it crosses the into the brain.

I am having a hard time too day so I don't think I will be around much. I hope all have a reflective Good FRiday,and a Joyest Easter.
God Bless You and keep You.

Be as well as You can be today
appleseed

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LisaS
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Yes heres a good link, http://www.publichealthalert.org/

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tcw
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I have never seen any direct evidence that shows Babesia can infect your brain specifically. In other words, that Babesia occupies brain cells themselves. Babesia lives primarily in blood, and replicates inside red blood cells. Those infected cells travel through your brain of course, so they are "inside" of it, so to speak.

Why anybody would choose mefloquine (Lariam) when anything else would work is beyond me. Even mild side effects like nightmares where you believe you wake up and then realize you are still dreaming are enough to put me off. Induced psychosis in people that do not even have any parasitic infection is not that uncommon.

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adamm
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jt345--Well, it may be that the strains there are more strongly neurotropic. I was infected in MN, and, while it's never given me the symptoms of psychosis, all of my disease is in the brain...
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nellypointis
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quote:
Originally posted by tcw:
Why anybody would choose mefloquine (Lariam) when anything else would work is beyond me.

Have you read what I wrote? In case you haven't I shall repeat that ALL anti-protozoals that are used against Babesia by Lymies caused me the same DREADFUL brain effects NOT JUST LARIAM, and mefloquine (aka Lariam) is the drug that keeps my Babesia symptoms at bay the best. So that's why anybody would choose mefloquine.

In fact when I first started treating the Babs the WORST of the WORST was artemisinin, which nearly killed me even at 100 mg/day.

But as I said before if anybody has HARD EVIDENCE of Lariam's toxicity to brain cells, please post.

quote:
Induced psychosis in people that do not even have any parasitic infection is not that uncommon.[/QB]
How can you be so sure the people who get the "induced psychosis" did not have "any parasitic infection" ? Many, many people have toxo cysts in the brain for eg and they give absolutely no symptoms.

Nelly

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adamm
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There is documentation of at least the neurotoxicity of Artemisinin.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/18x05p746026470x/

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nellypointis
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Adamm,

You (and others) keep bashing Lariam (mefloquine) because of the sensational stories they heard about people who took Lariam as a prophylactic malaria treatment. Not based on anything serious as far as I can see.

Yes, I have read about artemisinin and possible brainstem injury when artemisinin is used in large doses on animals.

In your article they describe the symptoms of brainstem injusry caused by artemisinin as follows:

"Behavioral correlates of brainstem neurotoxicity in laboratory animals include ataxic symptoms such as tremor, gait impairment and balance disturbance. Symptoms may also include auditory impairment."

I had terrible symptoms with artemisinin but none of the ones described above. In fact no matter what drug I use in an attempt to treat Babs, I always get the same symptoms ie: brain and head burning, very bad headaches (as if head would explode), emotionally all over the place.

Anyway, it seems we are going round in circles as whenever the drug "Lariam" is mentioned there are always many Lymies who say: "I would never take it" as if they had first hand experience yet all they do is repeat what we've all read about people going crazy when on Lariam.

If that was toxicity, how do you explain that in my case, the Lariam has become easier and easier to tolerate, to the point now where I don't feel anything at all when I take it once a week?

BTW, I can also take artemisinin without getting the dreadful headaches etc these days

Nelly

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micul
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Adam says:
quote:
There is documentation of at least the neurotoxicity of Artemisinin.
That's BS. There is a small chance of neurotoxicity from other Artemisinin derivatives like Artemether and Artesunate if not used properly, but I have never seen any real neuro proplems from Artemisinin, and that's what most everyone here takes.

People keep bringing this garbage up without realing looking into the facts. You will see from looking at more in depth material that all these so called studies that claim neurotoxicity from Art are not talking about Artemisinin. Polar Blast kept bringing this junk up time after time, but he could never produce ANY study that was specifically referencing Artemisinin. If you had looked through the archives here, you would have seen that.

What some people claim as neuro Sx's from using it are usually just die off reactions. Nelly use to be one of those people....now she has changed her mind about it because of perseverance and research. I think that it's extremely safe when used properly.

I've taken 500 to 700 mg 3 X's a day without a single problem for years. I don't think that it does much good at the tiny doses that most people here use, but that's a different story.

Adam, for some reason your fear of using drugs and herbs is much greater that your fear of letting the bugs destroy your mind and body. IMO, you've got it azz backwards, and until you see things differently, well......time will tell.

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tosho
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Nelly, have you ever tried quinine ?
Also - what kind of Babesia do you have ? Babesia divergens? This one is the most common in Europe.

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nellypointis
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quote:
Originally posted by micul:
What some people claim as neuro Sx's from using it are usually just die off reactions. Nelly use to be one of those people....now she has changed her mind about it because of perseverance and research.

Nope, Nelly always thought it was probably die-off! it's just that die-off can be so bad it can harm you, I simply had to pull back quite a few times because I was so-so ill with the die-off/inflammation.

I have been of the opinion for a long time that many of the reported undesirable effects of some anti-infectious drugs are in fact caused by a response to the dying bugs

Nelly

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nellypointis
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Tosho,

I am not sure, I tested positive by PCR for B microti from MDL labs a few years ago.

I have been going by symptoms mainly, and my response to treatment(s)

Nelly

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nellypointis
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quote:
Originally posted by tosho:
Nelly, have you ever tried quinine ?

Not quinine per se but Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)it knocked me right down, sent me into a catatonic stupor! Couldn't move from my bed (worse than usual)

Nelly

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tosho
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quote:
Originally posted by micul:


I've taken 500 to 700 mg 3 X's a day without a single problem for years. I don't think that it does much good at the tiny doses that most people here use, but that's a different story.


Micul, which brand of artemisinin do you like the most?

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Alv
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MALARONE is better ..artemisin gets in the brain ...I knew about it before I learned that I have lyme as I used a superdosages...for tapeworm...through my eksperiments to keep myself alive

I have been up to 15 a day and I worked the way to it...I have used MUSCLE testing to get to this level...

also read miculs posts....I think MICUL is the EXSPERT in babs treatment...I have done many times ARTEMISIN treatments...

Drugs are more toxic than this

By the way ...when My son was treating babesia..MEPRON came out negatiev as a killer ( artemissin ) was testing HIGH ...( based on muscle testing ) he was VERY HIGH on MICROTI based oN IGENEX test....

MALARONE is testing for him.We never tested this before.Seems that MALARONE can cover more than MEPRON.Again based on mucsle testing ( if you find any body ) I will and test and see what your body wants more...than you go for it.We are all diferent..and have diferent strains..

But ARTEMISIN is one of the best.

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Michelle M
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Babesia for sure infects the brain.

This is a case study of a guy who died - he had not only babesia but leukemia and cancer. He was treated in hospital twice for babesia. He was asplenic (no spleen), which didn't help.

What's interesting is that upon autopsy, his brain vasculature contained five times more parasites than anywhere else in his body. Despite clearing the parasite per hospital protocols twice.

This study appears to support the notion that the parasites do not clump or sequester to vessel walls in the brain. That's the good news. The bad news is that repeated treatment did not clear it from his brain (or elsewhere).

_____________________________________

Babesiosis is an emerging haemoprotozoan tick-borne disease often associated with symptoms that are similar to those of falciparum malaria [3,4]. Complications can include altered mental status, adult respiratory distress syndrome, renal insufficiency, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), gastrointestinal bleeding and multi-organ failure [3,4]. The traditional view of these changes, when seen in falciparum malaria, is that they are precipitated by hypoxia secondary to obstructive sequestration [2,5]. Thus, the same constellation of pathologic events in human babesiosis could imply that sequestration also drives the pathophysiology of this disease. There is, however, no information on this crucial question.

An answer was, therefore, sought through examining sequestration of Babesia microti-infected erythrocyte sequestration from a limited autopsy of a human fatality in which babesiosis was part of a complex diagnosis.


A sixty-seven year old male with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and colon cancer, who had undergone splenectomy, experienced a B. microti infection that was confirmed by thin blood smear identification of B. microti DNA by PCR and a four-fold rise in anti-B. microti antibody titre.

He received two courses of clindamycin and quinine over a two month period with clearing of parasitaemia each time. Four months later he was admitted to hospital with fever, tachypnea and confusion. Confusion continued until coma supervened 19 days later. A diagnosis of babesiosis was made by identification of babesia on blood smears (2 to 3% parasitaemia), amplification of babesia DNA by PCR, and detection of anti-babesia antibody in serum.

The patient was treated with clindamycin and quinine, azithromycin and atovaquone and a second round of clindamycin and quinine over the course of three weeks with no improvement in parasitaemia. He developed DIC and became comatose after suffering a cerebellar brain haemorrhage. He expired two days later.

Immediately following death, tissue samples from brain (cortex, basal ganglia, pons, leptomeninges, cerebellum and spinal cord), lung, liver and kidney were collected into 10% formalin. Multiple sections from 3-6 paraffin blocks of each sampled tissue were stained with Giemsa and examined extensively by two independent operators to locate parasites.

In particular, information was sought to determine whether the parasitized erythrocytes were randomly located within the lumen of blood vessels or showed any tendency to attach to vascular endothelium. Sections were searched over several days until about three hundred parasitized erythrocytes were seen. None were close enough to vascular walls to suggest any degree of sequestration. In terms of sightings per unit time, parasites were about five times more commonly observed in the brain vasculature than elsewhere. The cerebellum haemorrhage site and engorged meningeal vessels provided a much larger number of erythrocytes to peruse, and parasite density within the erythrocyte population in these tissues was equally low as elsewhere. Previously examined sections of B. microti-infected tissue of CBA/Ca mice were reviewed, confirming that even at very high parasite densities there was no tendency for parasitized red cells to sequester in this model.

Another haemoprotozoan parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, sequesters in Aotus sp. [6] as well as in man. Since late P. falciparum trophozoites and schizonts in peripheral smears are extremely rare, erythrocytes containing these stages evidently sequester in deeper vessels, even in mild human infections. Hence erythrocyte sequestration following parasite invasion appears to be a characteristic of the parasite rather than the host species, or the degree of host illness. This implies that the non-sequestration observed in this single splenectomised case of human B. microti infection will prove to be an equally constant feature of this parasite, as it is in mice, and irrespective of parasite density or its degree of contribution to the fatal outcome. Likewise, should the apparent absence of B. microti-infected red cell sequestration in this patient prove to be a general feature of all human babesial infections, a mechanism other than sequestration would be required to explain the multi-organ pathology that may occur during this disease. Although a case of B. microti infection in a patient with an intact spleen has yet to be examined histologically for parasite location, this parasite is recorded as causing multi-organ pathology in both intact and splenectomized individuals [7,8]. Thus a difference between sequestration in intact and splenectomized hosts, as occurs in P. falciparum-infected Saimiri sciureus [9] (and to an extent in human cases [10]) is not required to infer from our case that non-sequestering B. microti can cause multi-organ pathology in man.

Link to article:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1552079

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lymeparfait
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Is babesia related to high cholesterol?
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tosho
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quote:
Originally posted by Michelle M:

The patient was treated with clindamycin and quinine, azithromycin and atovaquone and a second round of clindamycin and quinine over the course of three weeks with no improvement in parasitaemia. He developed DIC and became comatose after suffering a cerebellar brain haemorrhage. He expired two days later.


I am a layman, but I think that none of these drugs mentioned above cross blood brain barrier significantly.
I wonder why they didn't give him high dose bactrim, flagyl and artemisinin (very good brain penetration).

Alv, which artemisinin did you use ?

I opened one capsule of Zhang artemisia and it doesn't "taste" strong [Smile]
Artemisinin was stronger.

--------------------
[Bb WB igm+] [B.henselae PCR+] [Chlamydia pneum.igm+igg+] [EBV igm-igg+]

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tosho
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double post

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[Bb WB igm+] [B.henselae PCR+] [Chlamydia pneum.igm+igg+] [EBV igm-igg+]

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Alv
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Zhangs ones...Well I know that the FDA has certain regulations on the dosages ..BUT I did not used any of the dosages that the goverment has.

One thing for sure.TO reach the level in the brain I HAVE HAD TO take SUPER strong dosages.That was me.Again is tough to tell somebody take this and that as I am not a doctor .

But I took up to 15 a day ( read between my lines).

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NMN
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I started doing high doses or artemisia annua Fri-Sund. I am doing 3 "00" 3 times daily and HOLY CRAP I had such a dark day yesterday(Sunday).

Literally felt like a depressed homocidal maniac. I did research and there is no neuro toxicity with this drug according to sites I visited.

What the hell am I treating here?? I also responded with sweats this week with high dose malarone(2 twice a day).

I may be trying Lariam at some point soon.

--------------------
Pos BB and Bart(Q & H IGG pos)
Began treat 1 year after start of illness. Diagnosed Feb 2007.

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Alv
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OH NMN you are treating BABS..but you gota take it slowly ..I have been on ARTEMISIN and OIL artemisin for very long..and for somebody that just start on it..should take it slowly like 1 pill a day and see how much you can tolerate..

continue on it for 1 week and build up up to the highest dosages...you can not jump on 3 right away ..ARTEMISIN is STRONG..in the mean time stay on malarone and bactrim and azithromax..

SEEMS that BACTRIM kills my duncani strain.I recall in EUROPE I put that in remision for several years and I was responding only to BACTRIM even though was 2 weeks.

So my hands UP for the bactrim on european strain.Build the levels of artemisin SLOWLY do not jump like that .OTHERWISE you will back off and I would not recomend you stop treating it..

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adamm
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NMM--posted on this a few days ago. Art may be neurotoxic--can't say whether or not it's causing what you experience, though.
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