Invisible International has just released an important medical education course on neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with Lyme disease, with treatment recommendations for specific manifestations. The course is taught by Shannon Delaney, MD, MA, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and neuropsychiatrist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
A key section of the course reviews the latest evidence on Lyme disease persistence after standard treatments, useful in overturning the long-held belief that Lyme disease is always easy to treat and cure.
“It’s staggering,” said Dr. Delaney. “Months to years after the initial infection of Borrelia burgdorferi, patients with Lyme disease may have chronic encephalopathy, polyneuropathy, or less commonly, leukoencephalitis,” she said.
Other topics covered in this masterclass include:
- The definition of Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), as defined by the medical community.
- Case studies that illustrate the unreliability of testing for neurological Lyme disease.
- Immune system biomarkers associated with neurological Lyme disease.
- A description of how the Lyme bacteria creates disease in humans.
Dr. Delaney also reviews a cohort study that analyzed the clinical data of 12,616 Lyme disease patients over 22 years. The study, a collaboration of Columbia University and the Copenhagen Research Centre for Mental Health, is believed to be the first large, population-based study examining the relationship between Lyme disease and psychiatric outcomes. The results are a wakeup call for those who think of Lyme as a disease of mainly rashes and swollen joints; the study found that patients who received a hospital diagnosis of Lyme disease—inpatient, outpatient, or at the ER—had a 28 percent higher rate of mental disorders and were twice as likely to have attempted suicide post-infection, compared to individuals without the diagnosis.
This course reinforces the need for physicians to consider mental health symptoms when developing treatment plans for tick-borne disease patients.
The Invisible Education Initiative, funded by the Montecalvo Foundation, provides free, accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses that focus on vector-borne and environmental illness within a One Health framework. These courses are available to clinicians and the public. To donate to this initiative and to learn about Invisible International, please go here http://invisible.international/give.
Watch here: https://learn.invisible.international/courses/neuropsychiatric-symptoms-with-lyme-disease-tick-borne-illness/