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“Critics and Lyme disease sufferers say their illness isn’t taken seriously enough and the ‘ignorance’ and ‘arrogance’ of Canadian health agencies has driven them to desperation.”  It’s been a long time coming, but finally we have some coverage. This whole report made me cry, a little bit, for so many different reasons.

Also- twitter users– support Lyme Disease Awareness, add a #twibbon to your avatar now! – http://bit.ly/1bEaFC

TERMINOLOGY:

stolen from various sources

“Lyme disease can cause horrible muscle and joint pain, severe brain damage, severe nerve damage manifested by loss of feeling in an arm or leg and or horrible pain anywhere in the body.”

Lyme disease: Lyme Disease is a multisystem infectious disease which can affect the skin, joints and nervous system disease; it is carried by various birds, rodents, deer and ticks. There is indication that mosquitos and other biting insects may also be vectors to this disease. It is passed among the animals and insects in this group when a tick latches onto an infected host, usually a Deer Mouse. The spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi)  in the infected blood of the mouse enter the blood of the tick and begin another life cycle, or continue their lifecycle in the stomach of the tick. The tick then bites or latches onto a different host and infects the new host with the Lyme disease. It is a complex and rarely understood disease that is systemic in nature. It can present itself with a myriad of symptoms (sometimes well over 100) that can easily lead to misdiagnosis by the untrained professional. We’ve tried to break down the information about this disease to make it easier to understand its complexities. Lyme disease can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart and nervous system.

Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein , produced because of the introduction of an antigen into the body, and which possesses the remarkable ability to combine with the very antigen that triggered its production.

Bell’s palsy: Paralysis of the facial nerve, the nerve that supplies the facial muscles on one side of the face. Bell’s palsy is also called facial nerve paralysis.

Borrelia: A group of bacteria that are helical spirochetes of the genus Borrelia. Some species of Borrelia cause relapsing fever in humans and animals. For example, Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. Named after Amédée Borrel (1867-1936), French bacteriologist.

Borrelia burgdorferi: The spirochete (a type of bacteria) that causes Lyme disease. Named after its discoverer, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. See: Borrelia.

Doxycycline : Brand name: Vibramycin. A synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotic derived from tetracycline . Doxycycline is used for many different types of infections, including respiratory tract infections due to Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It is also used for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis (due to Ureaplasma), Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus, chancroid, cholera , brucellosis, syphilis, and acne .

ELISA: ELISA stands for “enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.” This is a rapid immunochemical test that involves an enzyme (a protein that catalyzes a biochemical reaction). It also involves an antibody or antigen (immunologic molecules).

Herxheimer reaction: Also known as “herxing.” This occurs when large quantities of toxins are released into the body as bacteria (typically Spirochetal bacteria) die, due to antibiotic treatment or rapid detoxification. Typically the death of these bacteria and the associated release of endotoxins occurs faster than the body can remove the toxins via the natural detoxification process performed by the kidneys and liver. It is manifested by fever, chills, headache,myalgia (muscle pain), and exacerbation of skin lesions. Duration in syphilis is normally only a few hours but can be much longer, up to months or years, for other diseases, especially Lyme Disease. The intensity of the reaction reflects the intensity of inflammation present. The Herxheimer reaction has shown an increase in inflammatory cytokines during the period of exacerbation, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6 and interleukin-8. The reaction is also seen in other diseases, such as borreliosis (Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever), bartonellosis, brucellosis, typhoid fever, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and trichinellosis, Q fever, and cat scratch disease.

Peripheral neuropathy: is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system,which may be caused either by diseases of the nerve or from the side-effects of systemic illness. Neuropathy may be associated with varying combinations of weakness, autonomic changes and sensory changes. Loss of muscle bulk or fasciculations, a particular fine twitching of muscle may be seen. Sensory symptoms encompass loss of sensation and “positive” phenomena including pain. Symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected; motor, sensory, autonomic, and where the nerves are located in the body. One or more types of nerves may be affected. Common symptoms associated with damage to the motor nerve are muscle weakness, cramps, and spasms. Loss of balance and coordination may also occur. Damage to the sensory nerve can produce tingling, numbness, and pain. Pain associated with this nerve is described in various ways such as the following: sensation of wearing an invisible “glove” or “sock”, burning, freezing, or electric-like, extreme sensitivity to touch.

Spirochete: 1) spirochaete (parasitic or free-living bacteria; many pathogenic to humans and other animals) 2) A type of bacteria which is long, slender, and assumes a spiral shape. Leptospira species and the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) are spirochetes.

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