Dig Deeper – Neurodegenerative Diseases

Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS

Abstract:

Neurological involvement in Lyme disease usually takes the form of symptoms of meningoencephalitis, mononeuritis multiplex, radiculoneuritis, and-or cranian nerve neuritis developing within months of primary infection with Borrelia burgdorferi.  Recently, however, long-term sequelae have been described; these include a remitting-relapsing neurological syndrome simulating multiple sclerosis, focal encephalitis, and psychiatric disease.  These tertiary symptoms are thought to be due to a latent infection of the central nervous system.

Article in PDF

Antibiotic hope for Parkinson’s disease

Abstract:

An antibiotic used to treat leprosy and tuberculosis is showing promise as a therapy for Parkinsons disease.

In laboratory tests, rifampicin was found to prevent the formation of protein fibrils associated with the death of brain cells in Parkinsons. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, also found the drug dissolved existing fibrils.

The research, which is still at an early stage, is published in the journal Chemistry and Biology. If it works in people, that would really open up the possibility of stopping the progression of Parkinsons disease when it is first diagnosed.

Professor Anthony Fink The researchers studied the effects of rifampicin in test-tube experiments and are currently doing studies with cell cultures and mice to see if the same effects occur in living cells.

Article in PDF

Chronic Bacterial and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative and Neurobehavioral Diseases

Abstract:

Often, patients with neurodegenerative or neurobehavioral diseases have chronic, neuropathic infections that could be important in disease inception, disease progression, or increasing the types or severities of signs and symptoms. Although controversial, the majority of patients with various neurodegenerative or neurobehavioral conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and autistic spectrum disorders, show evidence of central nervous system or systemic bacterial and viral infections. For example, using serology or polymerase chain reaction evidence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia burgdorferi, Mycoplasma species, human herpesvirus-1 and -6, and other bacterial and viral infections revealed high infection rates that were not found in control subjects. Although chronic infections were not found in some studies, and the specific role of chronic infections in neurological disease pathogenesis has not been determined or is inconclusive, the data suggest that chronic bacterial or viral infections could be common features of progressive neurodegenerative and neurobehavioral diseases.

Article in PDF

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients Subsequently Diagnosed with Lyme Disease and coinfections

Abstract:

Objective: We examined the blood of 48 North American Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients subsequently diagnosed with Lyme Disease Borrelia burgdorferi and compared these to 50 North American CFS patients without evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi infections for presence of Mycoplasma spp. co-infections using forensic polymerase chain reaction. Results: We found that 68.75% of CFS/Lyme patients show evidence of mycoplasma co-infections (Odds Ratio=41.8, Confidence Limits=11.26-155.16, p<0.001) compared to controls, whereas 50% of CFS patients without a diagnosis of Lyme Disease Borrelia burgdorferi show mycoplasma co-infections (OR=19.0, CL=5.25-68.78, p<0.001 compared to controls).

Conclusions: The results indicate that a subset of CFS patients show evidence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, and a large fraction of these patients were also infected with Mycoplasma fermentans and to a lesser degree with other Mycoplasma species.

Article in PDF

Chronic Lyme borreliosis at the root of multiple sclerosis and a possible cure with antibiotics.

Abstract:

Summary Apart from its devastating impact on individuals and their families, multiple sclerosis (MS) creates a huge economic burden for society by mainly afflicting young adults in their most productive years. Although effective strategies for symptom management and disease modifying therapies have evolved, there exists no curative treatment yet. Worldwide, MS prevalence parallels the distribution of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi, and in America and Europe, the birth excesses of those individuals who later in life develop MS exactly mirror the seasonal distributions of Borrelia transmitting Ixodes ticks. In addition to known acute infections, no other disease exhibits equally marked epidemiological clusters by season and locality, nurturing the hope that prevention might ultimately be attainable….

Article in PDF

Coinfections, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Autism

Abstract:

The majority of neurodegenerative diseases, fatiguing illnesses and neurobehavioral disease patients have chronic infections. Therefore, we examined the presence of certain co-infections in the blood of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD) and compared these to CFS patients.

Article in PDF

Evidence for Brucella and Mycoplasma Co-Infections in Blood of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

Abstract:

We examined the blood of 94 North American Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients using forensic polymerase chain reaction and found that a subset (10.6%) of CFS patients show evidence of Brucella spp. infections compared to one of 70 control subjects (Odds Ratio = 8.2, Confidence Limits 1-66, P<0.01). Rural patients showed a higher incidence of Brucella spp. infections over urban patients (OR = 5.5, CL 1.3-23.5, P<0.02). Since CFS patients also have a high prevalence of one of four Mycoplasma species and sometimes show evidence of infections with Chlamydia pneumoniae, we examined Brucella-positive patients for other bacterial infections. Previously we found that 8% of the CFS patients showed evidence of C. pneumoniae and about 50% show evidence of Mycoplasma spp. infections. Since the presence of one or more chronic systemic infections may predispose patients to other infections, we examined the prevalence of C. pneumoniae and Mycoplasma spp. infections in Brucella-positive patients.

Article in PDF

Lyme-Associated Parkinsonism

Abstract:

Neurological complications of Lyme disease include meningitis, encephalitis, dementia, and, rarely, parkinsonism. We present a case of striatonigral degeneration, a form of multiple system atrophy, in Lyme-associated parkinsonism. A 63-year-old man presented with erythema migrans rash, joint pains, and tremors. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid antibodies and polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi were positive. Clinical parkinsonism was diagnosed by several neurologists. Despite treatment, the patient continued to decline, with progressive disability, cognitive dysfunction, rigidity, and pulmonary failure. At autopsy, the brain showed mild basal ganglia atrophy and substantia nigra depigmentation, with extensive striatal and substantia nigral neuronal loss and astrogliosis. No Lewy bodies were identified; however, ubiquitin-positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions were identified in striatal and nigral oligodendroglia. There were no perivascular or meningeal infiltrates, the classic findings of neuroborreliosis.To our knowledge, this is the first report of striatonigral degeneration in a patient with B burgdorferi infection of the central nervous system and clinical Lyme-associated parkinsonism.

Article in PDF

Lyme Disease and Parkinsonism – Selected Citations

Abstract:

Twelve cases of Lyme disease with neurological complications are reported. Seven patients had meningoradiculitis of the Garin-Bujadoux-Bannwarth type, with facial palsy in 2 cases. In 1 case the radiculitis involved only the cauda equina. Two more patients had meningomyelitis. Of the remaining 3, 1 had subacute inflammatory polyneuritis with albumino-cytologic dissociation, 1 had probable dorsal epiduritis, and the last one developed parkinsonism and communicating hydrocephalus after an otherwise classical meningoradiculitis.

Article in PDF

Lyme Disease Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

Abstract:

This case report discusses a patient with co-occurring neuroborreliosis and Alzheimers disease (AD). Although no claim is made for causality nor is there objective evidence that spirochetes are involved in AD, co-infection may exacerbate the symptoms of either neuroborreliosis or AD. Much is to be learned about the role of spirochetes in degenerative central nervous system disease.

Article in PDF

Lyme disease and Multiple Sclerosis: Any Connection?

Abstract:

A total of 769 adult neurological patients hospitalized in clinics and hospitals situated in the Lublin region (eastern Poland) were examined during the years 1997• 2000 with ELISA test for the presence of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato antibiotics. A statistically significant (p = 0.0422) relationship was found between the clinically confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the positive serologic reaction with Borrelia antigen. Ten out 26 patients with multiple sclerosis (38.5%) showed positive serologic reaction 10 Borrelia. whereas among the total number of examined neurological patients the frequency of positive findings was twice as low (19.4%). The result suggests that multiple sclerosis may be often associated with Borrelia infection.

Article in PDF

Motor neuron disease recovery associated with IV ceftriaxone and anti-Babesia therapy

Abstract:

This report summarizes what we believe to be the first verifiable case of a significant and progressive motor neuron disease (MND) consistent with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that resolved during treatment with i.v. ceftriaxone plus oral atovaquone and mefloquine. The rationale for use of these antibiotics was (i) positive testing for Borrelia burgdorferi and (ii) red blood cell ring forms consistent with Babesia species infection. The patient has continued to be free of MND signs and symptoms for 15 months, although some symptoms consistent with disseminated Borreliosis remain.

Article in PDF

Mycoplasma – Often Overlooked In Chronic Lyme Disease

Abstract:

Those of us with chronic Lyme disease are quite familiar with the names of the better known Lyme coinfections. Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichia have become everyday words. As much as we would like to rid ourselves of these illness producing pathogens, they have become a part of our daily struggle to regain a sense of health and wellness. Unfortunately, these are not the only coinfections seen in chronic Lyme disease. For some reason, Mycoplasma infections are not only lesser known by patients, but seemingly often overlooked by doctors as well. It is important for us, as patients, to educate ourselves on the topic of Mycoplasma and to ask our practitioners how we are being evaluated and treated for these infections.

Article in PDF

Rifampin and Parkinson’s Disease

Abstract:

a-Synuclein aggregation into fibrils is associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinsons disease (PD). Li et al. provide strong evidence that rifampicin interacts with a-synuclein and inhibits its fibrillization [1]. Rifampicin could be a promising candidate for therapeutic application for PD.

Article in PDF

Rifampin Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

Abstract:

The aggregation of a-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra is a critical step in the pathogenesis of Parkinsons disease. We show that the antibiotic rifampicin inhibited a-synuclein fibrillation and disaggregated existing fibrils in a concentration-dependent manner. Size-exclusion chromatography data indicated that rifampicin stabilized a-synuclein as both amonomer and soluble oligomers comprised of partially folded a-synuclein. Experiments using aged samples of rifampicin indicated that the most active species in inhibiting fibrillation and disaggregating fibrils is an oxidation product of rifampicin, which was confirmed in experiments under anaerobic conditions. These results indicate that rifampiacin- mediated inhibition of a-synuclein fibrillation and disaggregation of fibrils involves preferential stabilization of monomeric and soluble oligomeric forms, and that rifampicin potentially may have therapeutic application for Parkinsons disease.

Article in PDF

Systemic Bacterial Infections in MS, ALS and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract:

Patients with neurodegenerative and behavioral disorders often have systemic bacterial, viral and/or fungal infections that may play important roles in their pathogenesis. We and others have examined patients with various neurodegenerative and behavioral neurological conditions, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Asperger Syndrome), and found evidence for systemic intracellular bacterial and viral infections in a majority of patients. For example, examination of blood leukocytes for evidence of Mycoplasma spp., Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia burgdorferi and other infections by polymerase chain reaction revealed high incidences of systemic co-infections that were not found in control subjects.

Article in PDF

Treatment of ALS and MS with Antibiotics

Abstract:

The concept of treating infections and other serious diseases based on possibility rather than probability is not new. Who among the readers of this essay have not added an antibiotic to the treatment of fever of unknown etiology because of the possibility that it may be associated with a bacterial infection?

Have not most oncologist given patients with serious cancer chemotherapy because of the possibility that it might help them? It is in this frame of reference that this essay suggests that ceftriaxone should be added to treatment programs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) because of their possible relationship to Lyme disease.

First we will discuss the lessons that can be learned from syphilis, which is the spirochetal disease most closely related to Lyme disease.1 Then, we will present anecdotes of cases of ALS and MS seen at the Waisbren Clinic. These anecdotes support the conclusion that there is a possibility that treatment for Lyme disease might help some patients who live in areas where Lyme disease is endemic and who present with syndromes compatible with MS and ALS. 2 Finally, articles in the literature will be alluded to that may help explain the anecdotes in this article.

Article in PDF

Reference Articles: These articles are for personal educational use only. They are not to be copied or distributed. US copyright laws apply.

Menu