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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Alan B. MacDonald, MD

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Author Topic: Alan B. MacDonald, MD
abigail
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I posted his pictures of biofilms just a few days ago and someone commented that they hoped he would be the one to figure out how to get through them. As I recall though, at the end of Under Our Skin, it said that Dr. MacDonald had contracted some form of Alzheimer's and had lost memory of his research. Does anybody know anything about how he is presently doing?

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bigstan
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I just posted this link yesterday to his study's on biofilm:

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/88625

Someone said he has Alzheimer's and can't remember his work.

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abigail
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Well, thank goodness he got this out.

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Dying is easy. Living is harder.

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aiden424
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I saw the movie and don't remember them saying anything about MacDonald having any memory issues??

Kathy

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You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

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abigail
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I didn't remember it from the first time I saw the movie which could have been a different version. I got my own copy of the movie about a month ago, and sure enough, at the end of the movie, it says Dr. MacDonald had come down with some form of Alzheimer's (I can't remember the exact words, and I have loaned the movie out,) and he has no recollection of his work. Talk about a let down. Thank God we seem to have the fruits of his labor.

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Robin123
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Yes, very sad - such a dynamic person in the film. If spirochetes have been found in the brains of many with Alzheimer's, then I wonder if he's treating for Lyme?
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LymedOut
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Hmmmmm, that sounds very suspicious. Do you all think he was told to shut up?

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Rumigirl
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No, he really did come down with Alzheimer's, or whatever the exact neurological diagnosis is. And, no, as far as I could find out, he hasn't been treated for LD. It sounds as if his mind was so affected, he wasn't able to be open to this.

This is heart-breaking. He did such brilliant work, was so devoted to the work, and was a delightful person to boot! And it seems likely that he got this from his research with Alzheimer's brains---or from living in Long Island. Really sad, and a cautionary tale.

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blinkie
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I just heard this. Very said for the lyme community.
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Eight Legs Bad
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Alan MacDonald was a courageous scientist whose work, if it had continued, could have brought hope not only to the Lyme community, but also to those diagnosed with Alzheimers - multi-millions of people in total.

However, if his theory was correct, and if Lyme borrelia are responsible for Alzheimers, then the work he was conducting was highly dangerous.

Enough information has leaked out to show that Lyme disease is studied in maximum-containment biowarfare labs.

The personnel in those labs are shielded head to toe with the most advanced personal protective equipment in existence, work through gloveboxes, in a sealed lab in which the airflow is supposed to be controlled such that no airborne pathogen can escape.

Because the federal funders refused to back his work, Alan MacDonald was forced to operate in his basement. Presumably, he did not have a BSL-3 or BSL-4 lab in his basement. Therefore the work he was doing was potentially very risky.

You say that Alan MacDonald has not only lost all memory of his research, he is not mentally fit to seek Lyme treatment for himself from an LLMD.

I don't know the legal situation in the US, but in Britain a person who is mentally incapacitated can nominate a person to take decisions on his behalf, in his best interests.

If such a person has no one, and concerned people see a need, an advocate can be appointed to take on this role. The advocate can act based on what he or she knows would have been the wishes of the ill person, had they been in a position to negotiate their own treatment.

Alzheimers is an extremely common disease, with millions of victims. However in Alan MacDonald's age group it is not so common.

Elena

Elena Cook's Home Page

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lymemomtooo
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This is so depressing. He might have eventually discovered so many other connections with these diseases. All lost except what he published.

It is so sad for LD and I feel so sorry for him and his family. While trying to save an army of us and others, he put himself in jeopardy. lmt

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daystar1952
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I have a friend who was a molecular biologist and worked at Pfizer for years doing stem cell research involving genetic engineering. She became ill from an exposure at work and is now fighting for worker safety. Pfizer fired her before she could quit.This woman was infected with a genetically engineered virus and now has spells where she falls down into paralysis.

This woman put on a screening of Under Our Skin in CT. When she first saw the movie and the part where Alan MacDonald was showing the brain specimens in his cellar freezer, she gasped and said...Oh My God...he is going to get in trouble.

She didn't seem to think that this was legal and that he would possibly get arrested or fired or whatever. Her husband is with the FDA so it seems as if she should know what she's talking about.

I think it's very odd that right after Under Our Skin , he became ill and unavailable. From what I have heard he really is having problems with his brain.

After hearing of my friend's experience at Pfizer and her thought that her illness and infection came after she made some safety complaints....makes me wonder if Alan's illness was somehow intentionally caused. That is just too bizarre that he supposedly cannot remember his research.

You would have thought that Alan MacDonald or the producers of Under Our Skin would have thought more about making that part of his work so public...especially working on biologicals in his basement.

So...either he was accidently infected, or intentionally or he has to make up his illness and stay quiet. Are there any other possibilities?

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coltman
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quote:

So...either he was accidently infected, or intentionally or he has to make up his illness and stay quiet. Are there any other possibilities?

How about without crazy conspiracy theories?- like he is is old and got ill?
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daystar1952
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It's too easy to pass off just like that. People accept everything they hear without question which is one reason our country is in so much trouble now. My friend's experience wasn't conspiracy theory.Many biologists have died mysteriously. In fact there is a whole list of them. Here's the master list
http://rense.com/general62/list.htm

You could be right but I don't think he's old enough to get run of the mill dementia. People used to get demntia in their 80s and 90s. He could have been accidently infected.

I know of two lyme researchers who died unexpectedly and they were both tied to Yale. They didn't have Lyme though.

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daystar1952
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This one from the list is interesting

1996: Tsunao Saitoh, 46
--Expertise: A leading Alzheimer's researcher
--Circumstance of Death: He and his 13 year-old daughter were killed in La Jolla, California, in what a Reuters report described as a "very professionally done" shooting. He was dead behind the wheel of the car, the side window had been shot out, and the door was open. His daughter appeared to have tried to run away and she was shot dead, also.

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daystar1952
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At a public Meeting with Plum Island...I actually spoke with the Director of Plum Island about this Jawad from Iraq...how he was studying mycoplasma at Plum Island...then took all his mycoplasma research back to the University of Bagdad and then we have GWI which mycoplasma is one of the main elements involved.As I spoke all this to her The Director of PI just nodded her head...almost like she was ashamed. She didn't deny any of it.

1994/95?: Dr. Jawad Al Aubaidi
--Expertise: Veterinary mycoplasma and had worked with various mycoplasmas in the 1980s at Plum Island.
--Circumstance of Death: He was killed in his native Iraq while he was changing a flat tire and hit by a truck.
Source: Patricia A. Doyle, PhD

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Andromeda13
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You are spot on daystar - people today don't ask enough questions, they believe what they are told too easily.

In the UK a top microbiologist, Dr David Kelly, who had been the United Nations inspector for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq was found dead near to his home, and all of the press said it was suicide, and that was the coroner's verdict.

Now, years later, at least 12 doctors and scientists have come out in public to say it was not suicide; it could not possibly have been so, because of several medical reasons.

Always the press have talked about the WMD as being either nuclear or chemical; they dare not mention them as being biological. Kelly's expertise was in bugs, not nuclear bombs.

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Eight Legs Bad
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I've just been told that Alan MacDonald has been diagnosed with Fronto-temporal Dementia, not Alzheimers. This information comes from Andy Abrahams Wilson.

FTD is sometimes confused with Alzheimers, but it is NOT the same disease. The hallmarks are usually behavioural changes and/or language difficulties, while memory for events tends to be spared, especially in the early stages. That is one way the two diseases can be differentiated from each other.

This is not just tragic but also a very rapid decline in a man who only a year ago (perhaps less?) was perfectly lucid, and was at the forefront of research which could have proved beyond a doubt the existence of chronic Lyme, not to mention the significance of his work for the millions of victims of Alzheimers.

His illness must have progressed extremely rapidly.

Elena

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Justice will be ours.

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Rumigirl
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Thank you for the clarification, Elena. He was sick and unable to speak as planned at the U of New Haven Lyme Conference in the spring of '08, so it's been a while. I assume that was part of the same illness.

I asked Dr. B about him recently and whether he was receiving tx for Lyme, and he said that when McDonald was in the hospital, he refused visitors (Dr. B), and has declined tx.

I assume that is either because his mind is so gone that he can't think clearly, or it's due to pride, which I've seen more than once in people involved in Lyme research. Whichever it is, it's totally sad. His wife must be heart-broken, too. They both were delightful people (not to mention his brilliance and devotion to the research!).

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Lymetoo
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This is so tragic! [shake]

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Opinions, not medical advice!

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Andromeda13
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Hi eight legs bad,

You wrote:

<<I've just been told that Alan MacDonald has been diagnosed with Fronto-temporal Dementia, not Alzheimers. This information comes from Andy Abrahams Wilson.>>

I have a friend with severe Lyme symptoms, including dysautomnia and mental confusion. He was positive for Lyme by Igenex and both of the antigen tests (Bowen and the newer Florida one).

His SPECT brain scan showed that the frontal and temporal parts of his brain were not getting the right blood flow (hypo perfusion). The radiologists wrote several possible diagnoses which were: 1.)encephalitis due to an infection e.g. Lyme, 2.)atypical depression, or 3.)mild dementia.

Dementia can be part of the Lyme spectrum, definitely.

My friend is so confused he forgets he has Lyme. He isn't able to get any advocate to be provided by the mental health services as they say he has not responded to treatment, and the social services will not help him either. He isn't quite ill enough for their criteria. The social services are overloaded and the population is getting older, so that many people are suffering without any help.

I just hope that Dr MacDonald gets some tests done for whether he has Lyme or some other infection like mycoplasma. And what about the possibility of the prion disease? Creuzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD) or mad cow disease, could have been present in the specimens of brain. That would be a definite possibilty in the UK where we have had CJD killing a few hundred people, and no one knows how many undiagnosed cases presenting as dementia before they thought of looking for prions as the cause.

Probably no one is actively looking for spirochaetes as a cause of dementia. Especially not in the UK.

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daystar1952
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This may not be related exactly but my father-in-law, who was a long time gardener, began getting dementia in his mid 80s. Right up until then he had been very active...even going to the gym at 5 each morning.

Most of us would say...well..that's normal to get dementia at that age.But what really is the cause...ya know what I mean?

Besides getting dementia he began to lose urinary control and also began to shuffle. During this period we saw a special on TV about NPH or Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.It talked about the exact symptoms my FIL had.

I talked the family into getting him to go to my LLMD to find out if it was NPH. The doc ordered an MRI to look for NPH and as we were leaving I asked the doc if she tested for Lyme. She said...no.... I don't think Lyme has anything to do with it but then she said...what the heck...let's test him.

She called me a few days later and said that he had the most positive test she ever saw. He got a month of IV, began to improve but that was all Medicare would let him have. When he went off, he went rapidly down hill...was hospitalized and died a few weeks later.

NPH has something to do with fluid on the brain...in the ventricles...which then presses on certain parts of the brain. My thoughts on his illness were that he may have had Lyme in his system for years but when he got to a certain age and his immune system began getting a little weaker..well...I think the lyme took over.

I just thought I'd bring this up in case others have friends or relatives with these symptoms

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Andromeda13
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Here's a recent paper showing loss of funtion of various brain areas, often in the temporal lobes, less often in the frontal lobes, in neuropsychiatric cases caused by Lyme:

I'm putting this here because patients improved after treatment and I'm praying that something good will happen to Dr MacDonald.


J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 20:1, Winter 2008

WINDOWS TO THE BRAIN

Robin A. Hurley, M.D., L. Anne Hayman, M.D., Katherine H. Taber, Ph.D. Section Editors

Acute and Chronic Lyme Disease: Controversies for Neuropsychiatry

http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/20/1/iv.pdf


Only a few studies have utilized functional imaging in patients with late stage Lyme disease and neuropsychiatric symptoms. One prospective study specifically selected patients with possible Lyme encephalopathy based upon the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms (present for 2 months to 12 years).
Neuropsychological testing, MRI, and SPECT were obtained from both the patients and a group of normal healthy individuals.

More than half the patient group (13/22) were con-
firmed to have Lyme encephalopathy.Most of these (11/13) had normal MRI. Two had multiple areas of white matter abnormality. All (13/13) had multiple areas of hypoperfusion on SPECT, with both cortical and sub-cortical involvement.

Group analysis indicated that the perfusion deficits clustered in lateral and medial frontal
and medial temporal cortices, fronto-temporal white matter, and basal ganglia (Figure 3).

A 1-month course of antibiotic treatment was initiated. Most (11/13) of the Lyme encephalopathy group showed clear improve-
ments in neuropsychiatric symptoms beginning 1-3
months after treatment. All had improved cerebral perfusion on repeat SPECT scans acquired at 6months after treatment. One caveat on this study, however, is that only 2/13 had no previous antibiotic therapy and 5/13 had less than the recommended course. Thus, this group may include both late stage Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease. A case study illustrates the diag-
nostic challenges.


The patient in this case study was
initially diagnosed with anxiety and dysthymic disorder. Medication provided partial remission of anxiety symptoms, but did not alter the symptoms of depression, fatigue, or malaise. In addition, the patient's arthritis symptoms continued to worsen. The patient was
referred to internal medicine for evaluation of possible Lyme disease, which was confirmed.

SPECT obtained at this time showed hypoperfusion of both temporal lobes.
Antibiotic treatment resulted in gradual remission of symptoms.

The authors of this case report noted the importance of considering the possibility of an infectious disease, particularly in the absence of any family history of psychiatric illness

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mixxster
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Oh no. This is horrible news. I hope his work is well documented and can be used by other researchers. This is a real blow for the community, and people like Dr. B who worked so close with him.
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Lymetoo
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I agree, daystar. That is a very sad story about your FIL.

My mother in law has hydrocephalus and I wonder if she has lyme too... doesn't appear to, but who knows?

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Rumigirl
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Dr. Alan McDonald's work is being continued by Dr. Eva Sapi and her team at the U. of New Haven, thank God! I pray that she/they maintain their health, as they are the only ones doing this valuable work.

And, heaven knows, working with the blasted ticks and spirochetes is a major threat! When I asked them at ILADS, though, they said they used full protection in their research.

It is terribly sad that we have lost him, not to death, but to this illness.

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lpkayak
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she's great. talked alot to both of then in nhaven

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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wrotek
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quote:
Originally posted by abigail:
at the end of Under Our Skin, it said that Dr. MacDonald had contracted some form of Alzheimer's and had lost memory of his research. Does anybody know anything about how he is presently doing?

Does the movie really say that ? I watched and cant find this information.
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map1131
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His brain is back and all his latest videos prove the man is good. Sometimes one must live it to know it.

He is a blessing from above. One of our Lyme Angels!

Pam

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"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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BoxerMom
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It was in the extras on the DVD version. He has recovered (they don't think it was Alzheimer's), so maybe it is not on the current version.

I don't know how he is doing now, as this was happening many years ago.

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 - Must...find...BRAIN!!!

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Rivendell
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Pam, I'm so glad he is better.

I hope he keeps researching the lyme connection in alzheimers.

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Herbal Treatments for Lyme and Co-Infections:
http://buhnerhealinglyme.com
http://www.tiredoflyme.com/the-cowden-protocol-for-lyme-disease.html http://www.sinomedresearch.org http://www.lymenet.org/SupportGroups/

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randibear
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Curiouser and curiouser.....

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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lpkayak
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Pt 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8tESJVvM88

Pt2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RATCS-3v9Q

Pt3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEjNMlNM3l8

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These are two additional educational videos Dr Macdonald has made discussing the various nonspiral forms:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqKaM_J7KDI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ojq_2-HlNg

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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lpkayak
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http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=1;hardset=0;start_point=0;DaysPrune=1000

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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lymeboy
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This is highly suspicious. Did he have Lyme? What happened? He's as sharp as ever here. What's the deal?
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Razzle
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From what I understand, he had some kind of condition that caused him to forget his research for a while, but that got treated and then he was ok again. I don't know any details beyond that...

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-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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Rumigirl
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Yes, he is back in the saddle and kicking up the dust (to mix metaphors)! I am thrilled that he is, as he is unbelievably wonderful in every way.

Yes, he is better now. They think that it wasn't Lyme, but I wonder. In any case, it wasn't Lyme treatment that got him better.

He is collaborating with Eva Sapi again---yeah! And he's giving her the credit for discovering the role of biofilms in Bb.

I saw him when he was affected, but finally able to come to one of her conferences, but wasn't well enough to speak.

Boy, he has done a complete 180. When he was his most ill, the doctors told him to go home and get his affairs in order. It was quite serious. His long-suffering wife deserves a medal of honor.

At Sapi's conference this year, he told her that he would make it up to her for being a "Lyme widow" for so many years (while he devoted all his free time to Lyme research).

We owe him a big debt of gratitude. Sapi, too. They are both splendid people to boot.

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Eight Legs Bad
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The best way to express our gratitude to Dr Macdonald and Dr Sapi right now is to back them in combatting the CDC's disinformation campaign against the blood culture test they developed.

CDC are furious because many chronic Lyme patients have had positive results. Culture is the acknowledged "gold atandard" in microbiological diagnosis, so they are pulling out all the stops to sink the test.

Some of you will already know that CDC's Barbara Johnson published a paper falsely accusing Dr Sapi of "contamination" of the patients' blood samples in the Pennsylvania lab study described in her paper.

In fact , the alleged "contaminating" strains were 200 miles away in a different lab in Connecticut.

We should defend the test on every internet forum where the CDC's libellous view is being quoted, so that doctors and the public have a chance to know the truth.

Elena

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Justice will be ours.

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map1131
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One must wonder? Working in the basement of his home all those years with the lyme bacteria?

But we all know, it can only come from an infected tick. Yeah okay.

Pam

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"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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wrotek
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map1131 yeah he had balls and courage to work like that.
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Catgirl
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Wow, I am so glad he's back! I have to say, when I saw UOS I couldn't help but think lyme back then. I think he lives in an endemic area too. Endemic area speaks volumes.

Let's face it, allopathic docs think anyone who gets better with lyme treatment, got better from anything other than lyme treatment. They are idiots with closed minds.

[ 10-22-2013, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: Catgirl ]

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--Keep an open mind about everything. Also, remember to visit ACTIVISM (we can change things together).

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Carmen
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Although Dr MacDonald's work is impressive and the CDC should acknowledge it visualizing Lyme is not new and its accessible in many major American cities via dark field live blood analyis microscopy.

mostly found through naturopathic doctors offices, although not all docs doing this micoscopic work may know just what the lyme looks like but they can be taught.

No need for staining with dark field analysis. It can show a lot of different problems that can be corrected aside from Lyme too.

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lpkayak
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Carmen'
I have been fighting and studying lyme complex for 30 yrs
I don't understand all you say
But I know and trust what alan and eva say

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Carmen
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lpkayak, Im sorry you dont trust me. Im going to keep telling the dark field story here because it can make a huge differenc in outcome. Eventually some people will get it. I know a few here have already, even before I came to the forum.

I had my blood examined this way and there were the buggers right before my eyes. No stupid ELISA or western blot to mess with or other hugely expensive tests.

So what Im saying is that similar work to MacDonald is already in physicians offices across the nation.

Dark field live blood analysis shows exactly what MacDonalds research does.. the test is available if you know where to look. This page will give you many examples of the dark field live blood analyis in regards to lyme
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dark+field+microscope+lyme+disease&oq=dark+field+microscope+lyme+disease&gs_l=youtube.3..33i21.8717.18941.0.19174.34.23.0.11.11.0.155.26 29.4j18.22.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.B_exhHwn2wo

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Rumigirl
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Um, with all due respect, Carmen, dark field analysis isn't done on Alzheimer brains, which is one big part of what MacDonald did. Plus, he and Eva Sapi have shown the polymorphism of Bb and the formation of biofilm.

MacDonald also showed the even the spirochete does not always appear in what is usually considered as their form: the corkscrew formation.

I am not knocking darkfield analysis, just giving credit where credit is due to MacDonald and Sapi.

Darkfield, as with all manual blood analysis is only as good as the person reading it. That is not a comment on whoever you know that does dark field, just that it does depend on the person's knowledge and experience.

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Razzle
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The other issue is, not everyone with Lyme will have the critters show up in their blood sample...myself included.

I've had two or three different physicians do the live blood analysis on me, and none of them showed me anything that looked even remotely like the various pictures Dr. MacDonald has on his website...

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-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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lpkayak
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Thank yoo two for the words
I'm going thru a ruff spot and having trouble expressing self

I did bring up the point that it is clear to good llmds that bb is not h appy in the blood and so it doèsnt stay there long in another post...but it didn't seem what I said was understood

I love alan and eva as people and am greatful they survived what they did and have gone on to do this important work

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Carmen
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Dark field analysis can show the spirochete in a multiple of forms... some of which look nothing like a spirochete.. I'll look to see if I can find the photos. Its a polymorphic organism driven by changes in its terain. Im going to look at MacDonalds work again. He's staining blood samples right?
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garnet10
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I cannot find anything from Dr. Alan MacDonald after 2016.

Has he stopped doing research?

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Charlie Fitzgerald
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He posts on lymeneteurope.org from time to time, assuming that's actually him.
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bluelyme
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eva sapi found some thing that tears thru borrelia biofilm
http://www.mdpi.com/2079-6382/6/4/31

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Blue

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wrotek
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she also found bluelyme, that etevia kills biofilm. But it is useless in vivo
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thatdudefromkansas1
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It is my understanding that he retired, per a conversation I had with him when he was doing the MS study, which was about a year and a half ago.

And yes, that is actually him on lymeneteurope.

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Just researching and sharing.

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Lymetoo
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Wow .. a really old thread brought to life!

Welcome, Kansas!

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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thatdudefromkansas1
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Thanks!

I post in the Microscopy thread. I've been a member for a while but had to create a new username since my old one got scrubbed or something.

I'm working on some new stuff to post in there.
Feel free to check out the latest video I put up with my dark field microscope.

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Just researching and sharing.

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