'The Science Isn’t Settled on Chronic Lyme' by Rehmeyer and Dusenberry

Ema

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Fantastic Slate article by Julie Rehmeyer and Maya Dusenberry.

As journalists who have studied other contested diseases, the disdain and scientific drumbeating of the critics of chronic Lyme raised our suspicions. One of us (Julie Rehmeyer) has written extensively about bad research practices in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, aka ME/CFS, and published a memoir about navigating a poorly understood illness, Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer’s Odyssey Into an Illness Science Doesn’t Understand. And one of us (Maya Dusenbery) has written a book about gender bias in medicine, Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick. We’ve dug into the science and politics of Lyme, and we’ve found that this dismissive position doesn’t have a scientific leg to stand on—and further, that the dynamics around the illness are significantly driven by sexism.
 

Hip

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A new Lyme study published just recently found good evidence for chronic Borrelia infection in Lyme patients:
Using multiple corroborative detection methods, we showed that patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms may have ongoing spirochetal infection despite antibiotic treatment, similar to findings in non-human primates.
 
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@Ema

Excellent article! I think these two make a dynamic duo, similar to the terrific trio of Dimmock, Levine and Wilder who wrote the "ME/CFS:What Every Family Physician Needs to Know" article for the New York State Academy of Family Physicians e-magazine earlier this year!

Well-researched, and of course, very well written.

RWP + PWR
 

Mel9

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A new Lyme study published just recently found good evidence for chronic Borrelia infection in Lyme patients:

Thanks @Hip. That study has clarified why people with a Borrelia infection might have less severe symptoms on long term antibiotics but still do not get completely better.

The antibiotics seem to be bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal (ie they don’t completely kill the bacteria).

It’s disappointing to those of us who thought antibiotics could give a complete cure But anything is better than the terrible pain and suffering of the full blown infection.
 

Hip

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From what I understand, @Mel9, the significance of that study is that it has demonstrated for the first time (as far as I am aware) that Borrelia is present in chronic Lyme patients. As we know, there is this longstanding debate as to whether the symptoms of chronic Lyme are due to some after effect of a Borrelia infection, or whether they are caused by the ongoing presence of Borrelia in the body. This study would seem to support the latter theory.

Up until now, the only study that has found long term Borrelia was a primate study in monkeys, which found chronic Borrelia infection in these animals. This latest study now extends that finding to humans.
 

msf

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Morgellons disease managed to show the medical establishment in an even poorer light than Lyme itself, if that was possible. Somehow, supposedly intelligent doctors got it into their heads that the cases they were seeing were the result of people looking up the wackiest disease they could find in a medical tome, and then introducing bits of fabric into self inflicted wounds...and they thought the patients were crazy!
 

msf

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By the way @duncan, enjoy the feeling of vindication, you deserve it for your tireless efforts in educating people on this forum about this disease. Hopefully now reasonable people will actually try to look for some effective treatments for chronic Lyme.
 

duncan

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Thanks, @msf. This is a great article and is signifies a lot I think to the Lyme community,

Relative to the Sapi study alluded to by @Hip. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. You know that IDSA types are not likely to let this go unchallenged - especially with new IDSA Lyme Guidelines slated to be released this Fall.

The ALDF recently let loose with another salvo that can be interpreted as demeaning chronic Lyme patients' symptoms. Will that prove to be a hint of things to come this Autumn?

I'm curious how they will attack this study, though. Contamination? Spirochetes not viable? Via Morgellons? The ability of Sapi and company? All of the above?

I'm watching but so far I've yet to see a response.
 
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