Lyme disease is caused the Borrelia bacteria, a spirochete that is carried by a deer tick, although it can also be transmitted by mosquitos, fly’s, and via sexual contact. It has also been shown to be transmitted in utero from mother to unborn fetus.
The first signs of Lyme disease include symptoms of a flu-like illness with fever, headache, stiff neck, and muscle and joint pains.
If it is untreated at this early stage it can then program to second and third stage disease, causing a wide range of symptoms and signs.
Lyme Neurologic Symptoms May Be Similar to Those of MS.
Lyme disease can cause delayed neurologic symptoms similar to MS such as weakness, blurred vision, dysesthesias (sensations of itching, burning, stabbing pain, or “pins and needles”), confusion and cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue.
Lyme disease symptoms may also come and go, which is also the case in MS patients.
In addition, Lyme disease occasionally produces other abnormalities that are similar to those seen in MS, including positive findings on MRI scans.
All of these similarities in symptoms and test results have led some people with MS to be tested for the presence of antibodies to Borrelia, with the expectation that their neurologic symptoms are the result of Lyme disease rather than MS.
Lyme Disease MS Medical Studies
In a Polish study published in the year 2000, A total of 769 adult neurological patients hospitalised in clinics and hospitals situated in the Lublin region (eastern Poland) were examined during the years 1997-2000 with ELISA test for the presence of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato antibodies.
A statististically significant (p=0.0422) relationship was found between the clinically confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the positive serologic reaction with Borrelia antigen.
Ten out 26 patients with multiple sclerosis (38.5%) showed positive serologic reaction to Borrelia, whereas among the total number of examined neurological patients the frequency of positive findings was twice as low (19.4%). The result suggests that multiple sclerosis may be often associated with Borrelia infection.
Of course this is an association and it does not prove that the Borrelia bacteria was the cause of the MS in these patients.
However it does seem like there could be a contributing influence here and it does mean that doctors need to screen any MS patient for the presence of lyme bacteria.
If indeed the Borrelia bacteria is contributing to any of the signs and symptoms of MS in any patient, and this disease is treated successfully , then there is the possibility that many of these symptoms will then resolve.