Patient-reported cognitive complaints are common in those with
post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Objective evidence of
cognitive impairment in this population is variable in part due to
methodological variability in existing studies. In this study, we sought
to use a systematic approach to characterizing PTLDS based on the most
current consensus diagnosis. We further examined PTLDS-related cognitive
decline, operationalized as a significant decline in cognitive test
performance relative to premorbid cognitive ability.
We enrolled a case series of 124 patients with confirmed PTLDS defined
by Infectious Diseases Society of America-proposed case definition.
Cognitive functioning was evaluated using standardized
The majority (92%) of participants endorsed some level of cognitive
difficulty, yet 50% of the sample showed no statistically or clinically
significant cognitive decline, 26% of the sample evidenced significant
cognitive decline on measures of memory and variably on measures of
processing speed, and 24% of the sample were excluded from analyses due
to suboptimal test engagement.
The current findings are consistent with the literature showing that the
most robust neurocognitive deficit associated with PTLDS is in verbal
memory and with variable decline in processing speed. Compared to
population normative comparison standards, PTLDS-related cognitive
decline remains mild. Thus, further research is needed to better
understand factors related to the magnitude of subjective cognitive
complaints as well as objective evidence of mild cognitive decline.
Please know the first challenge is the limitation of a PTLDS definition by the IDSA – those that believe Lyme is little more than “aches and pains” of daily living and who follow the unscientific and antiquated CDC Lyme guidelines.
Second – there is vast disagreement in the Lyme world about PTLDS. There are hundreds of studies showing persistent infection, yet The CDC/IDSA do not believe in the possibility of persistent infection – just immune “blow back,” or the infamous PTLDS. While there certainly are immune issues with Lyme/MSIDS, please watch Dr. Cameron’s video on it for a different take: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/15/lyme-hangout-with-dr-cameron-ptlds/
Third – and this is important, Lyme/MSIDS symptoms are notoriously intermittent, which means you can be bed-bound one day and walking the next. You can have severe brain fog and memory loss one day and not another. This is hallmark. Lyme/MSIDS patients go to the ER frequently with severe, frightening symptoms, yet are commonly sent home and told the tests are all “normal,” so the fact that “50% of the sample showed no statistically or clinically significant cognitive decline,” does not shock me. This sort of test probably needs to be given over a period of time to show anything at all. If you study the organism in any relevant depth, this idea that we are going to give these patients a singular test and expect to see statistically significant things is really pretty silly if you think about it.
Until the obvious flaws are dealt with, this study joints hundreds of others that are used to justify the lack of concern about very chronically ill people with Lyme/MSIDS. This article reveals it superbly: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/28/the-science-isnt-settled-on-chronic-lyme/
Lyme Advocate Carl Tuttle says this about the study:
Your study like so many others over the past three decades avoids this class of debilitated patient who missed early treatment and became disabled. Your study results are then assumed to apply to the entire patient population giving the impression that Lyme is no big deal…just some “mild cognitive decline.”
This is a continuation of the racketeering scheme identified in the SHRADER & ASSOCIATES, LLP RICO lawsuit where the ongoing disinformation campaign is aimed at promoting the idea that Lyme is little more than a nuisance disease (Aches and pains of daily living)
Lyme disease has been misclassified as a low-risk and non-urgent health issue as there are no Public Service Announcements informing the public that you could become horribly disabled or die from Lyme disease.