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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Activism » Forbes on Lyme - quotes Shapiro

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Author Topic: Forbes on Lyme - quotes Shapiro
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The Lyme Disease Defense by David Whelan

Posts: 227 | From South of the North Pole | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Forgot to say, this is by the same author who wrote the really bad article that appeared in Forbes in 2007 ("Lyme, Inc. - Ticks aren't the only parasites living off patients in borreliosis-prone areas.") that prompted a major letter writing campaign by Lyme community. He appears to be a mouthpiece for IDSA.
Posts: 227 | From South of the North Pole | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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copying 2nd link here:

The Lyme Disease Defense

by David Whelan

Another church shooting; another arrest. But this one comes with a twist of Lyme.

According to news reports, the suspect who's charged with shooting a pastor during Sunday morning services in Illinois last weekend suffered from Lyme disease.

According to this report in the Chicago Tribune, the suspect's attorney is already blaming his actions on the disease.

This the second joint appearance of Lyme and dramatic violence in a month.

After the infamous pet chimp attack in Connecticut, Lyme disease was offered as a possible explanation. The ape was reportedly being treated for the tick-borne disease.

Experts in the medical community are officially skeptical, which doesn't bode well for a criminal defense based on a Lyme infection.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America--the professional organization representing board-certified infectious disease specialist physicians--put out a statement about how to interpret the shooting:

Lyme disease is not known to cause violent behavior. In some rare cases, people may have neurologic problems such as facial paralysis.

The vast majority of people with Lyme disease--about 95 percent--can be cured with a short course of antibiotics.

2009 LLC All Rights Reserved

copying over LYME letters only below:

Our good friend has had Lyme for years now and it has been hell. Basically untreatable.

Often he feels like he is losing his mind & suffers terrible pain, etc. It is ruining his life.

Could it drive someone to murder? maybe. It sure can make you crazy.

Posted by: E.S. | Mar 10, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I finally got clean Lyme results (DNA results by PCR - very conclusive) FINALLY after 5 years of treatment by a Vector Disease specialist.

When I was diagnosed 5 years ago, I was already at the chronic stage - the doctor figured that I had been infected 3-5 years prior to diagnosis.

My biggest symptoms were neurological & emotional - NOT the bulls-eye or arthritis.

I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I never felt violent towards myself or others, but I was pretty damn hard to live and work with due to my emotional outbursts.

I think someone could be violent, depending on where they are on the mental/emotional scale.
Prior to Lyme disease I was very stable and healthy.

I wish the pastor didn't die, but part of me is glad that this aspect of Lyme disease is in the press;

Lyme and the other 4 tick-borne diseases are VERY highly underdiagnosed, and most doctors are using unreliable test methods due to cost restrictions by the insurance companies.

It's a travesty of our health care system.

Posted by: Kathy | Mar 10, 2009 at 11:43 AM

I've had Lyme twice. Both times treated in short order by antibiotics.

Even if his disease got away from him and his suffering got unbearable, a "normal" person in that position would probably take their own life, not the lives of others.

This guy was not driven to do what he did by Lyme disease but by his own inner demons.

Posted by: Guido | Mar 10, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Mr. Whelan:

You really need to expand your sources when it comes to Lyme disease.

Relying on the Infectious Disease Society of America for information on Lyme disease is akin to relying on Bernie Madoff for investment advice.

As we learned with Madoff, professional affiliations and reputation are not, by DEFAULT, an assurance of accuracy and integrity.

After the huge outpouring of letters to you and Forbes from the Lyme patient community for your LAST Lyme article, you really should know better.

The OTHER Lyme experts, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, should have been represented in this article.

Apparently you're not interested.

Posted by: R. Markowsky | Mar 10, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Whether this particular man's insanity is caused by Lyme, there is no debate about whether Lyme can cause psychosis, although the press has reported that his psychological symptoms were not aided by psychiatric drugs but were briefly improved when his Lyme was treated.

Lyme is known to cause (visible on SPECT scans and other tests) drastic abnormalities in blood flow to the brain, as well as several forms of encephalitis and meningitis- swelling of the brain and the tissues surrounding it.

There are many cases neurological Lyme causing psychotic behavior that resolves after the Lyme is treated.

For information on some current studies on Lyme psychosis, see the Columbia Medical Center's Lyme And Tick Borne Diseases Research Center page at

For information on past studies of this issue, may I recommend that journalists consult a medical database.

The science is quite unequivocal on the issue of psychosis occurring in some Lyme cases.

The IDSA is currently embroiled in a major legal case over the validity of its guidelines and stance on the scope of Lyme symptoms, and has generally taken a position of defensiveness.

Shame on Forbes for giving the discredited politics of the IDSA more air time, when numerous studies have shown the exact opposite of what the IDSA is claiming in your article.

Posted by: Maria Alovert |Mar 10, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Lyme disease is often accompanied by other tick and/or flea born infections.

Bartonella is a common tick and flea borne infection that is well known to cause psychiatric and rage problems.

If this infection was not treated, and it requires different antibiotics than Lyme disease, then the patient will not recover from either the Lyme or the Bartonella, and both could be contributing to his rage/violence.

Most infectious disease doctors will not even look for Lyme disease, much less for any other tick and/or flea borne infection.

I have become disabled due to lack of timely diagnosis and refusal to treat by one doctor after another doctor made the diagnosis.

My moods have definitely become darker since my illness began and I can see where someone can feel hopelessness and strike out at someone who they think could/should help them.

Posted by: Virginia, RN | Mar 10, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Please do your homework. Borrelia is a cousin of syphillis.

Do you know what an untreated syphillis patient acts like? What are they like if they don't get treated for a few years after they are infected?

If you have borrelia in your brain, can you build a wall around it and tell it not to infect the parts of the brain that control behavior or paranoia?

Not all schizophrenics murder, but a few do. Not all of us Lyme patients go crazy, but some of us do.

This man had lesions in his brain!

Don't take the IDSA so seriously. You are not a stupid person.

Does it make sense that tertiary syphillis can be treated with a couple of weeks of antibiotics?

Can we effectively treat a late diagnosis of Lyme in the same way?

That's about as crazy as this man who murdered the pastor.

Posted by: Paula Carnes | Mar 10, 2009 at 02:05 PM

I dont wish to repeat what has already been said. Its really sad what has happened to the pastor.

I was diagnosed with lyme disease and babeosis in October 08 after a trip in August to Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.

My family will tell you that I was having severe anxiety and panic attacks. I was also having outburst of rage for no apparent reason!

This was NOT A PERSONALITY TRAIT OF MINE prior to this illness. This illness is very varying in individuals' symptons.

It is an awful disease that makes you feel like you are dying.

Posted by: Tessa McCall | Mar 10, 2009 at 02:27 PM

Thanks for the laughably weak argument.

Isn't lyme a spirochete infection like syphilis and malaria? Would you like to be locked up in a room with someone with tertiary syph?

Anything that invades and hijacks the central nervous system and alters hormonal and endocrine output can cause severe personality changes and in fact cause almost ANY symptom.

Funny how the only homicidal chimp in america just happens to have had Lyme. Coincidence, right?

Of course it is - the chimp probably just had a bad breakup and a drinking problem. Maybe he was working for the KGB.

Posted by: Steve | Mar 10, 2009 at 06:27 PM

"The vast majority of people with Lyme disease--about 95 percent--can be cured with a short course of antibiotics."

This statement approaches plausibility ONLY if you define "people with Lyme" as those with

a) a bullseye rash or

b) a positive ELISA test, and your "short course of antibiotics" is on the long end of short.

Which of course is the IDSA's definition of "people with Lyme."

As for the other, oh, HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of people who get Lyme WITHOUT a bullseye or + ELISA... if you exclude them from your definition, you don't have to count them.

Voila! No epidemic.

Posted by: Jax | Mar 10, 2009 at 07:38 PM

Mr. Whelan's sources and research are quite limited, to the point of bias and irresponsibility.

IDSA is a thoroughly discredited organization that actively fights funding for Lyme Disease research.

Currently IDSA is lobbying against HR 1179, ``Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Prevention, Education & Research Act of 2009'' because its members, and specifically its Lyme Disease Guidelines Panel, don't want to be embarrassed or contradicted.

If you want accurate, unbiased, helpful information, contact the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), the Lyme Disease Association, or any one of the 50 state Lyme associations or the military Lyme association.

Posted by: Doug in Sleepy Hollow | Mar 10, 2009 at 07:57 PM

from betty; many great posts above!! way to go gang! xox

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