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Lyme Disease Origin – Diagnosis and Spread

MRi Scan Multiple Sclerosis misdiagnosed Lyme neuroborreliosis

MRI scan of a patient with suspected Multiple Sclerosis, later diagnosed with Lyme neuroborreliosis. A lesion is clear in the left-sided basal ganglia and the posterior internal capsule (Wilke, et al, 2000).

Dating the origin of Lyme disease accurately is further problematised by the current argument between those who consider the condition as over-diagnosed and those who think that many cases are missed or misdiagnosed as an alternative condition. Health issues such as depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and even conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and schizophrenia have all been connected to Lyme disease in one way or another, often through missed or inaccurate diagnosis. It is also quite common for diseases to be multifactorial, including a predisposition, a trigger, and some persistent health issue culminating in the illness manifesting itself. The problem with Lyme disease diagnosis is often that early symptoms, such as a flu-like illness, are not connected to later symptoms of untreated Lyme disease, such as joint pain and cognitive deficits (memory and concentration problems, for example).

The Spread of Lyme Disease

Areas which have recently begun seeing Lyme disease cases may simply be more aware of the symptoms and, therefore, be better at reporting the problem or may have undergone environmental changes affecting the local wildlife. This would impact on Lyme disease infection as ticks carrying the Lyme disease bacteria require certain host animals and habitat to survive and maintain the infection reservoir. Periodic increases in Lyme disease infections in an area are often thought due to local weather affecting the availability of certain foodstuffs for animals playing host to ticks that transmit Borrelia. Acorns are one such example and researchers have connected large acorn harvests with increases in Lyme disease due to acorns being a food source for mice that act as a host reservoir.

The clear differences between a zoonosis and an infection directly transmitted between humans makes comparisons between Lyme disease and AIDS appear nonsensical, even though some Lyme advocates have drawn such comparisons. Although we may not fully understand where this infection came from initially the recent scientific research on Lyme disease origin and bacterial development do seem to discredit the idea of it being a manufactured agent or accidental result of biowarfare research.