27 AUG 2021

Bransfield: IDSA guidelines ignore psychiatric consequences of Lyme disease

Dr. Robert Bransfield delivered the following public comment at the recent meeting of the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.

I’m a psychiatrist from New Jersey, who has treated thousands of Lyme disease patients over the past thirty years. I have also performed research. Three issues I would like to raise:

*A recent study unequivocally proves Lyme disease causes mental illnesses.

*This Working Group needs to be more attentive to the psychiatric symptom from TBD.

*The IDSA guidelines fail to recognize this causal association.

I recommend the following

The Working Group needs to gather and share information on psychiatric symptoms caused by Lyme/TBD.

Since the IDSA guidelines fail to recognize this causal association, they are outdated and the committee needs to recommend that all federal references and links to their guidelines must be removed.

To expand:

A recent article using the 7 million patients in the Danish nationwide database was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the number one psychiatric journal in the world. It proved the causal association between Lyme and any mental disorder, affective disorders, suicide attempts and death by suicide.

There are 400 other peer-reviewed journal articles proving the causal association between tick-borne diseases and psychiatric symptoms and 73 with dementia. Mental illness is the major cause of disability and death from tick-borne disease.

Psychiatric findings from TBD can include

  • developmental disorders
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • affective disorder
  • depression
  • anxiety disorders
  • addiction
  • opioid addiction
  • cognitive impairments
  • dementia
  • suicidality
  • violence
  • other impairments
This has caused chronic disability and deaths from suicides, drug overdoses, auto accidents and homicides.

This working group needs input from psychiatrists who understand tick-borne diseases and psychoimmunology. Addressing the causal association between tick-borne diseases and psychiatric symptoms and sharing this information with legislators and the public is critical.

When the psychiatric morbidity, mortality and disability are adequately considered, it greatly shifts risk/benefit clinical decision making involving diagnosis and treatment.

The American Psychiatric Association guidelines recognize this association, but the IDSA guidelines fail to consider the psychiatric consequences of Lyme disease. Therefore, these guidelines are outdated, unscientific, and hazardous.

The Working Group needs to recommend that all federal government links and references to these guidelines be removed.

Robert Bransfield, MD, DLFAPA, a past president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, is an internationally recognized expert in how Lyme disease affects mental health.

Dr. Bransfield’s list of 473 peer-reviewed articles that support the evidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases causing neuropsychiatric illness: List of citations



Dr. Bransfield is a true pioneer when it comes to psychiatric manifestations of Lyme/MSIDS.  He has fought long and hard on this arena.  He’s a rock star in my book.

For more:

%d bloggers like this: