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Case Study: The Tick Bite Wasn’t Lyme

Posted on May 1, 2017 in Blog |

Lynn’s journey began during a family football game on Thanksgiving Day, 2006. She pulled a tick off her arm later in afternoon. Two weeks later, Lynn developed a fever and back pain. She had no rash. She thought she had the flu. She mentioned the tick bite to her physician, but he assured her it was too early to see any symptoms of Lyme Disease. Nevertheless, he gave her 28 days of Doxycycline. She returned a month later, still complaining of vertigo and back pain. “You are anemic. You need to eat more protein.” One afternoon, during a trip to the shopping mall, she had to lean down and place one hand on the floor and one on the wall to keep the world from spinning. The doctor treated her for an ear infection. They ran the ELISA test twice, both returned negative. Two months after her tick bite, Lynn’s personality was completely flat. A small group of girlfriends had flown from Texas to surprise her for her birthday. All she wanted to do was sleep. She couldn’t understand the jokes her girlfriends were giggling about. By the end of January, she was in the Emergency Room with such fatigue she couldn’t catch her breath. She was jumbling her words, her speech slurred. This 34-year old mother of two toddlers was showing signs of a stroke. A CT scan revealed peri-carditis. She was sent to a cardiologist, then a neurologist, and an endocrinologist. She visited nationally acclaimed medical centers in the Midwest, Florida and Virginia. She said they told her they don’t know how to treat your Lyme, but we can tell you how to eat differently. “Become a vegan,” one physician suggested. From January through April, 2007, Lynn didn’t drive because of the vertigo and because she had gotten lost while driving the three blocks between her home and her daughter’s school. Significant memory loss followed. Her church started bringing dinners over because she was burning dinner every night. “I would forget I was even cooking any food,” Shannon admitted. Two years after her tick bite, Lynn tested positive for Bartonella in Dr. Mozayeni’s office. Her brain and...

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Testing and Diagnosing for Lyme

Posted on May 1, 2017 in Blog |

The following is an excerpt written by Dr. B. Robert Mozayeni from our book Lyme Savvy: Treatment Insights for Lyme Patients and Practitioners Blood Test for Lyme At the time of the tick bite and the rash, if someone has never been exposed to Borrelia before, they will not have antibodies to the Borrelia microbe. It takes usually six to twelve weeks to see antibodies to Borrelia. These antibodies initially develop as Ig-M, within two to four weeks and then later as Ig-G within six to 12 weeks or more. To evaluate a tick bite, the first test we do is the Western blot test. It should be done within a week or two before the exposure causes antibodies. This is to determine what the baseline antibody level was before the bite. It does not yet reflect antibodies produced as a result of a Borrelia exposure. Typically, three months later one re-tests for Borrelia by the Western Blot to see if there has been a change in the antibody response between the initial and the 12-week post-bite test. Bayesian Probability Decision Making I want to make an important point here: Many clinicians and patients don’t understand it takes time (weeks) to produce antibodies. I have seen many errors of diagnosis being made when the clinical history was classic for Lyme Disease and strongly diagnostic. When you have a high probability of Lyme Disease before any testing, that probability cannot be altered by the result of a negative test because the prior probability was so high. This is called Bayesian probability decision-making. It is the standard clinicians should use to make decisions. Lately, Bayesian adaptive clinical trials have become the leading edge method for conducting clinical research. It is all about probabilities. You have to know what your prior probability was before an event occurs in order to gauge whether or not that event really matters in your adjusted probability after an outcome is observed. In the case of a clear-cut tick exposure, ECM rash and Borrelia, you can be certain you have Lyme and a negative test result should not change your mind. In numerous consultations, I encountered physicians...

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