Archive for the ‘Treatment’ Category

Ketamine – Reduces Depression-related Behaviors in Mice, Limits Bb in vivo, & Relieves Chronic Pain

https://neurosciencenews.com/ketamine-depression-reversal-11069/

Ketamine reverses neural changes underlying depression-related behaviors: Mouse study

Summary: The formation of prefrontal cortex dendritic spine formation sustains the remission of depressive related symptoms and behaviors following ketamine treatment by restoring lost spines.

Source: NIH/NIMH

Researchers have identified ketamine-induced brain-related changes that are responsible for maintaining the remission of behaviors related to depression in mice — findings that may help researchers develop interventions that promote lasting remission of depression in humans. The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, appears in the journal Science.

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, with approximately 17.3 million adults experienced a major depressive episode in 2017. However, many of the neural changes underlying the transitions between active depression, remission, and depression re-occurrence remain unknown. Ketamine, a fast-acting antidepressant which relieves depressive symptoms in hours instead of weeks or longer, provides an opportunity for researchers to investigate the short- and long-term biological changes underlying these transitions.

“Ketamine is a potentially transformative treatment for depression, but one of the major challenges associated with this drug is sustaining recovery after the initial treatment,” said study author Conor Liston, M.D., Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City.

To understand mechanisms underlying the transition from active depression to remission in humans, the researchers examined behaviors related to depression in mice. Researchers took high-resolution images of dendritic spines in the prefrontal cortex of mice before and after they experienced a stressor. Dendritic spines are protrusions in the part of neurons that receive communication input from other neurons. The researchers found that mice displaying behaviors related to depression had increased elimination of, and decreased the formation of, dendritic spines in their prefrontal cortex compared with mice not exposed to a stressor. This finding replicates prior studies linking the emergence of behaviors related to depression in mice with dendritic spine loss.

In addition to the effects on dendritic spines, stress reduced the functional connectivity and simultaneous activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of mice. This reduction in connectivity and activity was associated with behaviors related to depression in response to stressors. Liston’s group then found that ketamine treatment rapidly restored functional connectivity and ensemble activity of neurons and eliminated behaviors related to depression. Twenty-four hours after receiving a single dose of ketamine, mice exposed to stress showed a reversal of behaviors related to depression and an increase in dendritic spine formation when compared to stressed mice that had not received ketamine. These new dendritic spines were functional, creating working connections with other neurons.

The researchers found that while behavioral changes and changes in neural activity in mice happened quickly (three hours after ketamine treatment), dendritic spine formation happened more slowly (12-24 after hours after ketamine treatment). While further research is needed, the authors suggest these findings might indicate that dendritic spine regrowth may be a consequence of ketamine-induced rescue of prefrontal cortex circuit activity.

This shows a brain

Although dendritic spines were not found to underly the fast-acting effects of ketamine on behaviors related to depression in mice, they were found to play an important role in maintaining the remission of those behaviors. Using a new technology developed by Haruo Kasai, Ph.D., and Haruhiko Bito, Ph.D., collaborators at the University of Tokyo, the researchers found that selectively deleting these newly formed dendritic spines led to the re-emergence of behaviors related to depression.

“Our results suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing synapse formation and prolonging their survival could be useful for maintaining the antidepressant effects of ketamine in the days and weeks after treatment,” said Dr. Liston.

“Ketamine is the first new anti-depressant medication with a novel mechanism of action since the 1980s. Its ability to rapidly decrease suicidal thoughts is already a fundamental breakthrough,” said Janine Simmons, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the NIMH Social and Affective Neuroscience Program. “Additional insights into ketamine’s longer-term effects on brain circuits could guide future advances in the management of mood disorders.”

ABOUT THIS NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ARTICLE

Source:
NIH/NIMH
Media Contacts:
Nick Miller – NIH/NIMH
Image Source:
The image is in the public domain.

Original Research: Open access.
Liston, C. et al. “Sustained rescue of prefrontal circuit dysfunction by antidepressant-induced spine formation”. Science. doi:10.1126/science.aat8078

Abstract

Sustained rescue of prefrontal circuit dysfunction by antidepressant-induced spine formation

The neurobiological mechanisms underlying the induction and remission of depressive episodes over time are not well understood. Through repeated longitudinal imaging of medial prefrontal microcircuits in the living brain, we found that prefrontal spinogenesis plays a critical role in sustaining specific antidepressant behavioral effects and maintaining long-term behavioral remission. Depression-related behavior was associated with targeted, branch-specific elimination of postsynaptic dendritic spines on prefrontal projection neurons. Antidepressant-dose ketamine reversed these effects by selectively rescuing eliminated spines and restoring coordinated activity in multicellular ensembles that predict motivated escape behavior. Prefrontal spinogenesis was required for the long-term maintenance of antidepressant effects on motivated escape behavior but not for their initial induction.

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**Comment**

Ketamine is used for starting and maintaining anesthesia and induces a trance-like state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss. It can cause confusion and hallucinations as it wears off.  Discovered in 1962 it was used in the Vietnam War due to its safety and is on the WHO’s list of essential medicines.

It’s also used as a recreational drug in raves and as a club drug.  Due to this, it’s a schedule III substance in the U.S.

That said, it’s been shown to limit borrelia in vitro:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/10/ketamine-limits-bb-in-vitro/

It’s also been shown to relieve her chronic pain, improve quality of life, reduce depression and suicidal ideation, and reduce opioid consumption:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/09/14/iv-ketamine-in-ptls/

 

Global Lyme Alliance Doing Kick-butt Research

https://globallymealliance.org/press-releases/global-lyme-alliance-reveals-several-drugs-drug-combinations-show-success-treating-lyme-disease/?

GLA’S PIONEERING RESEARCH FUNDING STRATEGY RESULTS IN PROMISING OUTCOMES THAT HELP PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM LONG-TERM LYME DISEASE

STAMFORD, CONN (April 12, 2019)—Global Lyme Alliance’s commitment to identify and fund innovative and promising Lyme disease research is unrivaled. A vital component to GLA’s leadership role in Lyme disease research is its success with early-stage funding. Discovering and supporting researchers who are new to Lyme but bring years of relevant disease work or are at the beginning of their careers, helps distinguish GLA’s approach to finding the evidence-based answers that will ultimately help patients.

In 2009, on a limited research budget, GLA had decided to proactively recruit scientists and fund research in new areas to further the understanding of Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme bacteria) that could lead to an improved diagnostic test and ultimately, a cure, for Lyme disease. GLA’s objectives were to:

  1. determine if the antibiotic evading technique of bacteria, like Escherichia coli, is being used by the Lyme bacteria and therefore explain the typical patient experience of symptom improvement followed by symptom relapse
  2. determine if such persistent or dormant cells were protected within biofilms
  3. identify existing drugs from a vast FDA library and find novel new treatments to eliminate persister (non-growing) and growing Lyme bacteria which could be a cure
  4. identify the surface proteins of the persister form of the bacteria to improve the current diagnostic tests. The first step in achieving these objectives was to fund a study conducted by Ying Zhang, M.D. at Johns Hopkins University in early 2010, to see if the Lyme bacteria could form persister or dormant cells in the test tube; and if they did, to proceed with the other aforementioned aims

Based on early findings of the Zhang/Johns Hopkins study that showed that the Lyme bacteria could ‘morph’ into persisters, GLA then recruited Kim Lewis, Ph.D., Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University, who is an expert in the area of bacterial persistence and antibiotic tolerance. GLA worked with Dr. Lewis on developing a multi-year study design and agreed to fund it. This study would ultimately confirm the ability of Lyme organisms to become persisters and went on to then find existing and new drugs to kill these persister (non-growing) forms. Both Northeastern and Johns Hopkins were running parallel, independent experiments and drug discovery protocols backed by GLA.

By 2018, Dr. Ying Zhang and his team at Johns Hopkins made significant strides:

  • Confirmed the existence in vitro of the dormant, persister Lyme bacteria
  • Showed how the Lyme bacteria goes dormant and changes its protein composition and shape when exposed to antibiotics and then grows again when antibiotic treatment is stopped
  • Identified its protein components and a new diagnostic tool to recognize persistence in patients
  • Used high-throughput drug discovery and drug efficacy testing programs
  • Identified a powerful combination of Daptomycin + Cefuroxime + Doxycycline to eliminate growing and non-growing forms of the bacteria and identified essential oils from spice and culinary herbs (g., oregano, cinnamon bark, and clove bud) which also serve to eliminate persister bacteria as well as biofilm-like forms

By 2018: Dr. Kim Lewis and his team at Northeastern University, independently, also made considerable findings:

  • Confirmed the existence in vitro of the dormant, persister Lyme bacteria
  • Showed how the Lyme bacteria goes dormant when exposed to antibiotics and then springs back to a form capable of growing again
  • Using a separate drug screening tool, identified Daptomycin, Mitomycin C (an anticancer agent) and Ceftriaxone as a possible drug combination to eliminate dormant and growing cells
  • Discovered through Dr. Lewis’ pipeline discovery program that Disulfiram, used for treating alcoholism, was extremely effective in culture and in mice in to killing burgdorferi in all forms
  • Discovered an antibiotic through his proprietary approach to screen soil bacteria, known as Hygromycin A that could kill the Lyme bacteria in vitro and in mice
  • Proved that in vitro, Vancomycin was more powerful in clearing all forms of the Lyme bacteria than Doxycycline

The complete path from initial seed funding to results that will impact patients follows.

GLA Initial Seed Funding (2013)

  • GLA is the first to identify Dr. Lewis as a scientific expert looking at bacterial persister cells, antibiotic tolerance, and novel therapies who could apply his knowledge to the study of Lyme disease
  • GLA helps design and funds Dr. Lewis’ multi-year study, “Persister Cells and Antibiotic Tolerance in Bb” to investigate whether burgdorferi forms antibiotic-tolerant persister forms

GLA Annual Lyme Disease Research Symposium (2014)

  • In 2014, through regular progress reports to GLA Scientific Advisory Board and presenting at GLA’s annual Lyme Disease Research Symposium, Dr. Lewis shares his initial findings from GLA-funded study. At the Symposium are other top scientists, including Dr. Brian Fallon, Dr. Armin Alaedini, and Dr. John Aucott
  • Lewis finds that B. burgdorferi can go dormant to evade antibiotics and then restart replication once antibiotics are removed. He had then performed an initial screen of FDA drugs for novel compounds that could target persister forms of the Lyme bacteria
  • Lewis was honored at Global Lyme Alliance Greenwich Gala, along with Ying Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University for their work in discovering Borrelia persisters

Published Findings (2015): The Lyme bacteria morphs to evade antibiotics

  • Lewis publishes landmark paper on persisters in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Borrelia burgdorferi, the Causative Agent of Lyme Disease, Forms Drug-Tolerant Persister Cells”, based on GLA funding from 2013. He showed that antibiotics killed most lab-grown B. burgdorferi, with a small surviving population that tolerated drug treatment. His team found that Mitomycin C efficiently killed persisters
  • Lewis noted that persisters play dead and then reawaken once treatment is completed in the context of recurrent urinary tract infections. “They start multiplying again, he explains, “and you get this relapsing, chronic infection.” It is possible a similar situation and explanation exists for chronic Lyme disease; however, more research is needed to test this hypothesis

GLA Fosters Collaboration & Continues Funding (2016, 2017, 2018)

  • In 2016, GLA funds Dr. Lewis’ well-regarded study “Discovery of new antibiotics and combinations”
  • Initial findings include results using Disulfiram (an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of chronic alcoholism and Hygromycin A (an antibiotic derived from soil bacteria)
  • In 2017 and 2018, a top Lyme-treating physician starts implementing Dr. Lewis’ findings using Disulfiram to treat post-treatment Lyme disease patients. To date, on a limited number of patients, Disulfiram is proving very promising
  • GLA-funded researcher and Lyme-treating physician Dr. Brian Fallon of Columbia University designs a clinical study to determine therapeutic efficacy of Disulfiram in 2019
  • Thanks to four years of financial backing by GLA, Dr. Lewis is able to deliver ground-breaking discoveries in Lyme disease, in particular, persisters and novel treatments, enabling him to attract attention from additional private foundation donors. This enables Dr. Lewis greater opportunity to investigate new therapies for chronic Lyme patients

Published Findings (2018): Vancomycin is the strongest antibiotic in treating Lyme disease

  • In 2018, Dr. Lewis publishes important paper on novel therapies in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Identifying Vancomycin as an Effective Antibiotic for KillingBorrelia burgdorferi“, based on GLA funding.
  • Lewis’ team found that Vancomycin was effective against in vitro cultures of growing B. burgdorferi. However, this class of drugs is not expected to work on stationary persister cells, in which growth is very slow, and cell wall synthesis is expected to be minimal. Unexpectedly, when tested on stationary B. burgdorferi, they found that cell wall synthesis still occurred, and could be blocked by Vancomycin.
  • To extend their studies to an in vivo model, the group treated burgdorferi-infected, immunodeficient mice for five days. They found that Vancomycin and Ceftriaxone each completely blocked bacterial growth, compared with partial eradication by Doxycycline. These studies suggest that more effective antimicrobial drugs, used early in infection, may prevent or reduce the occurrence of persisting infection.

Clinical Trials & Helping Patients (2019)

  • In 2019, GLA helps facilitate clinical trials leveraging Dr. Lewis’ findings with respected Lyme-treating physicians. Clinical trials performed under the guidance of GLA’s rigorous peer-reviewed process will ensure valid results, to most effectively impact patients.

Lyme disease is extremely complex, and the challenge to understand it and ascertain how to most successfully treat patients impacted by it is a herculean task. Through an aggressive and innovative research strategy, backed by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board and top-notch in-house science team, GLA is finding the answers.


About Global Lyme Alliance
Global Lyme Alliance is the leading 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness. GLA has gained national prominence for funding some of the most urgent and promising research in the field, while expanding education and awareness programs for the general public and physicians. We support those around the globe in need of information about tick-borne diseases. Learn more at GLA.org.

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**Comment**

Credit should be given where credit is due.  GLA is kicking butt in the world of Lyme/MSIDS research.

Currently, Disulfiram is being used on numerous Lyme/MSIDS patients in Mexico and many more in the U.S. with pretty astounding results. The herxes can be surreal so it takes an experienced practitioner, but, it has action against  malaria, HIV, cancer and Lyme (borrelia):

Malaria:

HIV:

Cancer:

Lyme (borrelia):

Do not self-treat. Talk to your practitioner about these findings and work with him/her.  While Disulfiram (Antabuse) is cheap, it can cause vast die-off and an inflammatory response that could put you in the ER.

Why Blood Tests Don’t Always Work For Chronic Lyme Disease

Slightly edited for length.  Comments follow.

https://www.bca-clinic.de/en/blood-tests-dont-work-chronic-lyme-disease/

Why Blood Tests Don’t Always Work For Chronic Lyme Disease

As most doctors and patients know, Lyme disease is a tricky thing to diagnose conclusively. Chances are that many patients didn’t just walk into a doctor’s office and get diagnosed with the disorder; they more than likely went through a number of different diagnoses before their doctors settled on Lyme. Unfortunately, there are many cases that don’t even make it to a successful diagnosis. This is due to combined problems of doctors not being fully literate when it comes to Lyme, compounded by the fact that many Lyme symptoms mimic the symptoms of other degenerative diseases, such as MS and fibromyalgia. As a result, many cases go undetected and misdiagnosed by medical professionals, to the extent that the cases of Lyme reported across any given year are expected to be drastically underestimated. A method does exist for the definitive detection of Lyme, but unfortunately these blood tests don’t always work for chronic Lyme disease.

The test is often relied upon by doctors as a foolproof diagnostic device. It’s known as the ELISpot, and measures the amount of borrelia bacteria present in the patient’s system on a cellular level, which is the key bacteria that produces Lyme. However, while this may sound good in theory, its effectiveness gets called into question when you consider the effects of chronic Lyme disease. The bacteria are certainly a big part of it at the start, in what’s known as the acute phase. Early-stage symptoms consist of flu-like symptoms and a distinctive rash known as a bullseye rash, which forms in about 50% of cases. At this point, the borrelia bacteria is very present in the system, and the symptoms are caused by the body attempting to mount some defence against the foreign invasion.

The ELISPot diagnostic method detects borrelia bacteria present in a patient’s system on a cellular level during the stages of acute Lyme disease.

A round of antibiotics will usually stop the infection in its tracks if it’s caught early and identified correctly as Lyme. However, if the infection is given a chance to further infect the system, then the results can be devastating for patients. It is not that hard for the infection to develop to its full-blown chronic stage, as once the flu-like symptoms and rash subside, the Lyme infection can lay dormant for weeks, months or even years, making it easy for the patient to write off their bout of illness as a simple case of the flu. When it inevitably does reemerge, it presents with a completely different set of symptoms than the primary iteration. This is because the bacteria have had a chance to become fully entrenched in the body, and the immune system has gone into overdrive. Many of the symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, including joint pain and constant fatigue, are a result of an overactive immune system, which perpetuates inflammation responses all over the body.

Once the specific effect of chronic Lyme disease is understood, it becomes easy to see why the ELISpot blood test doesn’t always return a positive result, even if the patient is suffering from Lyme. The test only registers the presence of the borrelia bacteria, and does not take inflammation into account. Each case of Lyme is different, and dependent on the patient’s reaction to the initial infection. Therefore, if the patient is suffering more from the infection effects, then the ELISpot will likely come back positive, and treatment can begin. If, however, the level of bacteria is low but the level of inflammation is high, the ELISpot might well come back negative, leading doctors to assume there’s no trace of Lyme, resulting in misdiagnosis and further debilitation for the patient down the road.

If the level of bacteria in a blood sample is low but the level of inflammation is high, the ELISpot might well come back with a false-negative, often resulting in misdiagnosis.

Diagnosing chronic Lyme disease correctly is absolutely key to treating it effectively. The inflammation symptoms are important for both patients and doctors alike to understand, as they hold the key to a proper diagnostic plan and subsequent treatment path. It should also be noted that blood tests can fail if initiated too early in the disease’s lifecycle, as the disease hasn’t had a chance to fully register in the body’s system yet. The CDC cautions that test results can be misrepresented in the first four to six weeks after infection, making it tough for doctors to diagnose the flu-like symptoms as Lyme in the absence of a specific test. In the acute stages of the infection, the bullseye rash is the single best indicator we have; if that’s present, there’s little doubt the patient has Lyme, and treatment can begin right away.

The latter stages of Lyme are where things get complicated. Luckily, there are plenty of doctors out there who are fully Lyme-literate, and can get their patients the treatment they need. Although the nuances of this debilitating disease are tricky to navigate, with the right information, tests and doctors alike to understand, as they hold the key to a proper diagnostic plan and subsequent treatment path.

Although the nuances of this debilitating disease are tricky to navigate, with the right information, tests and treatments, we can effectively fight back against it.

__________________

**Comment**

The title of this should be, “Why Blood Tests Hardly Ever Work for Chronic Lyme Disease.”

There is NO foolproof diagnostic device or test for this, but there IS a validated questionnaire that doctors should be utilizing:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/09/05/empirical-validation-of-the-horowitz-questionnaire-for-suspected-lyme-disease/

Questionnaire here:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/symptomlist.pdf  Print & fill this out, and take to your doctor.  Educate them about this.

Diagnosis for Lyme/MSIDS has always been and continues to be a clinical diagnosis.  Period.

I remember a conversation I had with Dr. Hoffman, probably the most experienced LLMD in all of Wisconsin, who treated this before it had a name.  He told me that the sickest patients NEVER test positive.  Chew on that one for a while.

The EM rash IS diagnostic for Lyme and treatment should be given, but please know the percentages used on people getting the rash are falsely skewed, with far less getting it than is touted:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/22/why-mainstream-lyme-msids-research-remains-in-the-dark-ages/.  In fact the percentages range from 25%-80% –

Hardly a sure thing

Testing the blood for borrelia has been proven to be abysmal – pretty much at every stage.  The window is so small that only a handful of those infected are getting positives, despite the CDC worrying about false negatives.  Trust me, there’s few false negatives. As Dr. McDonald aptly states:

“If false results are to be feared, it is the false negative result which holds the greatest peril for the patient.” –Alan McDonald, Pathologist

If you study the organism for 1 minute, it’s clear that it is a stealth organism that shape-shifts to avoid the immune system. It also doesn’t hang out in the blood for long. It prefers the brain, spine, synovial fluid, and your organs – places that are hard for treatment to reach, your immune system to access and certainly for blood testing to pick up.

While there is inflammation, the jury’s still out on what is causing what, with plenty of scientific evidence (700 peer-reviewed articles) to show persistent/active infection – not just inflammation:  https://www.ilads.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CLDList-ILADS.pdf

So the fact that blood testing won’t pick up an infection is not solely due to everyone having an inflammatory response. It can also include the fact there is ACTIVE/PERSISTENT infection that is buried in the body far away from the blood.

For a great read on Lyme testing:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/12/lyme-testing-problems-solutions/

And then there’s the issue of coinfections, all requiring different testing – ALL of it just as poor.

Lastly, all of this points to something quite sinister. Why have authorities controlled testing for Lyme and insisted on using blood serology when it is so abysmal?  Going down that rabbit hole reveals an entire ugly, dark saga of fraud & collusion, with patents on testing & vaccines owned by the very authorities making all the rules. ConflictReport (A lengthy expose on all the dirty deeds done dirt cheap)

There is a current lawsuit due to the suppression of microscopy (direct testing) which is far more accurate: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/15/news-release-on-57-1-million-lyme-disease-lawsuit-filed-against-cdc/

This article also reveals how Lida Mattman’s Gold Standard Culture Method has disappeared thanks to this concerted suppression on microscopy.  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/02/transmission-of-lyme-disease-lida-mattman-phd/

Things desperately need to change in Lyme-land.

 

 

The Powerful Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/powerful-aspirin-alternative-grows-trees-1?

The Powerful Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

“© [Originally published: 2017-07-23, Article updated: 2019-04-11] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.”
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Given the newly released cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines recommending against daily low-dose aspirin use, natural, safe and effective alternatives are needed now more than ever. Thankfully, one particularly therapeutic alternative has been known about by the biomedical research community for decades…

In a previous article titled “The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives,” we discussed the clear and present danger linked with the use of aspirin as well as several clinically proven alternatives that feature significant side benefits as opposed to aspirin’s many known side effects.

Since writing this article, even more evidence has accumulated indicating that aspirin’s risks outweigh its benefits. Most notably, a 15-year Dutch study published in the journal Heart found that among 27,939 healthy female health professionals (average age 54) randomized to receive either 100 mg of aspirin every day or a placebo the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding outweighed the benefit of the intervention for colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention in those under 65 years of age. Most recently, last month, new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines submitted jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Associated and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, earlier this year, contradict decades of routine medical advice by explicitly advising against the daily use of low-dose or baby aspirin (75-100 mg) as a preventive health strategy against stroke or heart attack, in most cases.

Of course, aspirin is not alone as far as dangerous side effects are concerned. The entire non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) category of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is fraught with serious danger. Ibuprofen, for instance, is known to kill thousands each year, and is believed no less dangerous than Merck’s COX-2 inhibitor NSAID drug Vioxx which caused between 88,000-140,000 cases of serious heart disease in the five years it was on the market (1999-2004). Tylenol is so profoundly toxic to the liver that contributing writer Dr. Michael Murray recently asked in his Op-Ed piece, “Is it Time for the FDA to Remove Tylenol From the Market?” Just as serious are tylenol’s empathy destroying properties that were only identified four years ago.

Given the dire state of affairs associated with pharmaceutical intervention for chronic pain issues, what can folks do who don’t want to kill themselves along with their pain?

Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) Puts Aspirin To Shame

When it comes to aspirin alternatives, one promising contender is pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant extracted from French maritime pine bark, backed by over 40 years of research, the most compelling of which we have aggregated on GreenMedInfo.com here: Pycnogenol Research. Amazingly, you will find research indexed there showing it may have value for over 80 health conditions.

In 1999, a remarkable study published in the journal Thrombotic Research found that pycnogenol was superior (i.e. effective at a lower dosage) to aspirin at inhibiting smoking-induced clotting, without the significant (and potentially life-threatening) increase in bleeding time associated with aspirin use. The abstract is well worth reading in its entirety:

“The effects of a bioflavonoid mixture, Pycnogenol, were assessed on platelet function in humans. Cigarette smoking increased heart rate and blood pressure. These increases were not influenced by oral consumption of Pycnogenol or Aspirin just before smoking. However, increased platelet reactivity yielding aggregation 2 hours after smoking was prevented by 500 mg Aspirin or 100 mg Pycnogenol in 22 German heavy smokers. In a group of 16 American smokers, blood pressure increased after smoking. It was unchanged after intake of 500 mg Aspirin or 125 mg Pycnogenol. In another group of 19 American smokers, increased platelet aggregation was more significantly reduced by 200 than either 150 mg or 100 mg Pycnogenol supplementation. This study showed that a single, high dose, 200 mg Pycnogenol, remained effective for over 6 days against smoking-induced platelet aggregation. Smoking increased platelet aggregation that was prevented after administration of 500 mg Aspirin and 125 mg Pycnogenol. Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol. Aspirin significantly (p<0.001) increased bleeding time from 167 to 236 seconds while Pycnogenol did not. These observations suggest an advantageous risk-benefit ratio for Pycnogenol.” [emphasis added]

As emphasized in bold above, pycnogenol unlike aspirin did not significantly increase bleeding time. This has profound implications, as aspirin’s potent anti-platelet/’blood thinning’ properties can also cause life-threatening hemorrhagic events. If this study is accurate and pycnogenol is more effective at decreasing pathologic platelet aggregation at a lower dose without causing the increased bleeding linked to aspirin, then it is clearly a superior natural alternative worthy of far more attention by the conventional medical establishment and research community than it presently receives.

Not Just A Drug Alternative

Pycnogenol, like so many other natural interventions, has a wide range of side benefits that may confer significant advantage when it comes to reducing cardiovascular disease risk. For instance, pycnogenol is also:

  • Blood Pressure Reducing/Endothelial Function Enhancer: A number of clinical studies indicate that pycnogenol is therapeutic for those suffering with hypertension. Pycnogenol actually addresses a root cause of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in general, namely, endothelial dysfunction (the inability of the inner lining of the blood vessels to function correctly, e.g. fully dilate).[1] It has been shown to prevent damage in microcirculation in hypertensive patients, as well as reducing the dose of blood pressure drugs in hypertensive patients,[2] including hypertensive diabetic patients.[3] It has even been found to reduce intraocular hypertension found in glaucoma patients.[4]
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: There is a growing appreciation among the medical community that inflammation contributes to cardiovascular disease. Several markers, including C-reactive protein are now being fore grounded as being at least as important in determining cardiovascular disease risk as various blood lipids and/or their ratios, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Pycnogenol has been found to reduce C-reactive protein in hypertensive patients.[5] Pycnogenol has been found to rapidly modulate downward (inhibit) both Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzyme activity in human subjects, resulting in reduced expression of these inflammation-promoting enzymes within 30 minutes post-ingestion.[6]Another observed anti-inflammatory effect of pycnogenol is its ability to down-regulate the class of inflammatory enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).[7]Pycnogenol has also been found to significantly inhibit NF-kappaB activation, a key body-wide regulator of inflammation levels whose overexpression and/or dysregulation may result in pathologic cardiovascular manifestations.[8] Finally, pycnogenol has been found to reduce fibrinogen levels, a glycoprotein that contributes to the formation of blood clots; fibrinogen has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.[9]
  • The Ideal Air Travel Companion: In a previous article entitled, “How Pine Bark Extract Could Save Air Travelers Lives,” we delve into a compelling body of research that indicates pycnogenol may be the perfect preventive remedy for preventing flight-associated thrombosis, edema, and concerns related to radiotoxicity and immune suppression.

Given the evidence for pycnogenol’s pleotrophic cardioprotective properties, we hope that pycnogenol will become more commonly recommended by health care practitioners as the medical paradigm continues to evolve past its reliance on synthetic chemicals, eventually (we hope) returning to natural, increasingly evidence-based interventions. However, it is important that we don’t fall prey to the one-disease-one-pill model, convincing ourselves to focus on popping pills – this time natural ones – as simply countermeasures or ‘insurance’ against the well-known harms associated with the standard American diet, lack of exercise and uncontrolled stress. The ultimate goal is to remove the need for pills altogether, focusing on preventing cardiovascular disease from the ground up and inside out, e.g. letting high quality food, clean water and air, and a healthy attitude nourish and sustain your health and well-being.


References

[1] Ximing Liu, Junping Wei, Fengsen Tan, Shengming Zhou, Gudrun Würthwein, Peter Rohdewald. Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients. Life Sci. 2004 Jan 2;74(7):855-62. PMID: 14659974

[2] Gianni Belcaro, Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Andrea Ricci, Umberto Cornelli, Peter Rodhewald, Andrea Ledda, Andrea Di Renzo, Stefano Stuard, Marisa Cacchio, Giulia Vinciguerra, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini, Mark Dugall, Filiberto Fano. Control of edema in hypertensive subjects treated with calcium antagonist (nifedipine) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors with Pycnogenol. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2006 Oct;12(4):440-4. PMID: 17000888

[3] Sherma Zibadi, Peter J Rohdewald, Danna Park, Ronald Ross Watson. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes by Pycnogenol supplementation. Nutr Res. 2008 May;28(5):315-20. PMID: 19083426

[4] Robert D Steigerwalt, Belcaro Gianni, Morazzoni Paolo, Ezio Bombardelli, Carolina Burki, Frank Schönlau. Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects. Mol Vis. 2008;14:1288-92. Epub 2008 Jul 10. PMID: 18618008

[5] Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Gianni Belcaro, Stefano Stuard, Frank Schönlau, Andrea Di Renzo, Maria Giovanna Grossi, Mark Dugall, Umberto Cornelli, Marisa Cacchio, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini. Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of pycnogenol in hypertensive participants–a controlled study. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-6. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PMID: 20097689

[6] Angelika Schäfer, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 activity by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). Biomed Pharmacother. 2006 Jan;60(1):5-9. Epub 2005 Oct 26. PMID: 16330178

[7] Tanja Grimm, Angelika Schäfer, Petra Högger. Antioxidant activity and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases by metabolites of maritime pine bark extract (pycnogenol). Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2011 Jan;40(1):103-6. PMID: 14990359

[8] Tanja Grimm, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). J Inflamm (Lond). 2006;3:1. Epub 2006 Jan 27. PMID: 16441890

[9] G Belcaro, M R Cesarone, S Errichi, C Zulli, B M Errichi, G Vinciguerra, A Ledda, A Di Renzo, S Stuard, M Dugall, L Pellegrini, G Gizzi, E Ippolito, A Ricci, M Cacchio, G Cipollone, I Ruffini, F Fano, M Hosoi, P Rohdewald. Variations in C-reactive protein, plasma free radicals and fibrinogen values in patients with osteoarthritis treated with Pycnogenol. Redox Rep. 2008;13(6):271-6. PMID: 19017467

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/08/three-alternative-strategies-that-can-address-severe-chronic-pain/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/12/09/live-webinar-the-pain-solution-with-dr-bill-rawls/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/10/fatigue-joint-pain-and-low-testosterone-had-lyme-podcast/

 

Autism Symptoms Reduced Nearly 50% Two Years After Fecal Transplant

https://scienceblog.com/507184/autism-symptoms-reduced-nearly-50-two-years-after-fecal-transplant/

Autism Symptoms Reduced Nearly 50% Two Years After Fecal Transplant

Recent research suggests our gut microbiomes affect brain communication and neurological health. Worldwide, interest is growing in the idea that changes in normal gut microbiota may be responsible for triggering various conditions. At ASU, a research team is exploring using the microbiome to treat autism symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 59 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism, up from one in every 150 in 2000. They report that

“about half a million people on the autism spectrum will become adults over the next decade, a swelling tide for which the country is unprepared.”

The apparent rise in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its stubborn resistance to treatment has spurred a legion of researchers to enter the field and explore the disability in innovative ways.

Currently, effective treatments for ASD include behavioral therapy, speech and social therapy, psychiatric medications, and dietary and nutritional approaches. However, no medical treatments have been approved to treat core symptoms of ASD such as social communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors.

One promising avenue of autism research involves the gut microbiome, which is the collection of microbes that lives in our intestines and helps us in many ways including digestion of our food, training our immune system and preventing overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Recent research suggests our gut microbiomes also affect brain communication and neurological health. Worldwide, interest is growing in the idea that changes in normal gut microbiota may be responsible for triggering a vast range of diseases.

In a new study, “Long-term benefit of Microbiota Transfer Therapy in Autism Symptoms and Gut Microbiota,” published in Scientific Reports, Arizona State University researchers Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Ph.D., James Adams, Ph.D, and lead author Dae-Wook Kang, Ph.D, demonstrate long-term beneficial effects for children diagnosed with ASD through a revolutionary technique known as Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT), a special type of fecal transplant originally pioneered by Dr. Thomas Borody, an Australian gastroenterologist.

Remarkably, improvements in gut health and autism symptoms appear to persist long after treatment.

At two years post-treatment, most of the initial improvements in gut symptoms remained. In addition, parents reported a slow steady reduction of ASD symptoms during treatment and over the next two years. A professional evaluator found a 45% reduction in core ASD symptoms (language, social interaction and behavior) at two years post-treatment compared to before treatment began.

“We are finding a very strong connection between the microbes that live in our intestines and signals that travel to the brain,” said Krajmalnik-Brown, a professor at the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Biodesign Institute and ASU’s School for Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “Two years later, the children are doing even better, which is amazing.”

Many kids with autism have gastrointestinal problems, and some studies, including ours, have found that those children also have worse autism-related symptoms,” said Krajmalnik-Brown. “In many cases, when you are able to treat those gastrointestinal problems, their behavior improves.

Roughly 30-50% of all people with autism have chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems, primarily constipation and/or diarrhea that can last for many years. That chronic discomfort and pain can cause irritability, decreased attention and learning, and negatively impact behavior.

An earlier study with only vancomycin (an antibiotic) had found major temporary improvements in GI and autism symptoms, but the benefits were lost a few weeks after treatment stopped despite use of over-the-counter probiotics.

So, the question at hand was what’s going on in the gut, and how does it affect both physical and behavioral symptoms of autism, and how can we develop a long-lasting treatment?

Krajmalnik-Brown, Kang and Adams have shown that by transferring healthy microbiota to individuals lacking certain gut bacteria, it is possible to “donate” a more diverse set of bacteria into the patient and improve gut health.

In Australia, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) was initially developed by Borody. At his Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, Borody has overseen more than 18,000 FMTs for various disorders since 1987. He pioneered in Australia the use of FMT for colitis and Clostridium difficile infection, and was the first to use oral FMT to treat children with ASD. Only one dose of FMT is usually enough to cure C. Difficile infections, but his patients with autism were far harder to treat. He discovered that three months of daily FMT was required to treat his autism patients, but eventually resulted in significant improvements in both GI and autism symptoms.

Based on his experience with his patients, Borody led the design of the clinical treatment used at ASU for this study. The MTT approach involves 10 weeks of treatment, including pre-treatment with vancomycin, a bowel cleanse, a stomach acid suppressant, and fecal microbiota transfer daily for seven to eight weeks.

The initial open-label study, led by Krajmalnik-Brown and Adams, and published in the journal Microbiome in 2017, concluded that “this exploratory, extended-duration treatment protocol thus appears to be a promising approach to alter the gut microbiome and improve GI and behavioral symptoms of ASD. Improvements in GI symptoms, ASD symptoms, and the microbiome all persisted for at least eight weeks after treatment ended, suggesting a long-term impact.” The present study now shows the benefits are extended beyond eight weeks to at least two years post-treatment.

The ASU team compared differences in the microbiome of children with autism compared to typically developing children. At the start of the study, children with autism were found to have lower diversity in their respective gut microbes and were depleted of certain strains of helpful bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Prevotella.

“Kids with autism are lacking important beneficial bacteria, and have fewer options in the bacterial menu of important functions that bacteria provide to the gut than typically developing kids,” Krajmalnik-Brown said.

FMT treatment substantially increased microbial diversity and the presence of helpful bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Prevotella. After two years, diversity was even higher and the presence of beneficial microbes remained.

“We originally hypothesized that our therapy would be efficient to transform the dysbiotic gut microbiome toward a healthy one. In our original paper in 2017, we reported an increase in gut diversity together with beneficial bacteria after MTT, and after two years, we observed diversity was even higher and the presence of beneficial microbes remained,” Kang said.

He added that this may be one of the reasons for success in improving the gut health, but further mechanistic studies are warranted to define specific roles of gut microbes in the context of autism.

The work done at ASU is not only about treating patients but also about learning from the treatment in order to develop better formulations and optimize dosing.

“Understanding which microbes and chemicals produced by the microbes are driving these behavioral changes is at the heart of our work,” Krajmalnik-Brown said. The team’s new publication reports that the study demonstrated that two years after treatment stopped the participants still had an average of a 58% reduction in GI symptoms compared to baseline. In addition, the parents of most participants reported “a slow but steady improvement in core ASD symptoms.”

“Every family completed the study, and every family returned two years later for a follow-up evaluation,” said Adams, citing the families’ dedication to the research. “The treatment was generally well-tolerated with minimal adverse effects.”

“This is a world-first discovery that when we treated the gut bacteria in these children during our clinical trial two years ago to reset their microbiome with FMT, positive results are still continuing to be improving two years from the original treatments. I would call it the highest improvement in a cohort that anyone has achieved for autism symptoms,” said Borody.

Professional evaluation revealed a 45% decrease in ASD symptoms compared to baseline. Researchers note that although there may be some placebo effect, much of that effect appears to be real. At the start of the study, 83% of participants were rated as “severe” autism. At the end of the study, only 17% were “severe,” 39% were “mild/moderate,” and 44% were below the cut-off for mild ASD.

Greg Caporaso, at Northern Arizona University, a leading expert in microbiome data science and a co-author on these studies, helped to analyze the microbiome data to better understand bacterial changes as a result of MTT.

“Drs. Krajmalnik-Brown, Kang and I are excited about the results, but we want to caution the public that we need larger clinical trials for this to become an FDA-approved treatment,” said Adams. Professional expertise is required for safe and effective treatment.

MTT improves GI distress by introducing key strains of beneficial bacteria and helping to raise levels of biodiversity within the gut, boosting health overall.

Adams has both professional and personal reasons for doggedly pursuing ways to help children with autism because he knows the situation first-hand. His daughter was diagnosed with autism just before her third birthday. Adams, a President’s Professor at ASU’s School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, and the chair of Materials Sciences, is also president of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, the largest parent support group in Arizona.

“Dr. James Adams is the reason why I started working on autism,” Krajmalnik-Brown said. “I had the methods to do all of the measurements and assessments in the microbiome part of the work, and he had the autism knowledge.”

Adams recruited patients, supervised clinical work and ASD assessments, and guided the patients through the trials, and Krajmalnik-Brown led the microbiome evaluations and helped plan the study.

All of the participants in the study exhibited chronic GI symptoms from infancy, including chronic constipation and/or chronic diarrhea. The treatment benefits extended beyond their physical symptoms, even causing some parents to note how much their children’s behavior had improved over time.

“It is very unusual to see steady gradual improvement after the conclusion of any treatment,” said Adams. “We only conducted the long-term follow-up study after several families told us that their child was continuing to improve significantly.”

Krajmalnik-Brown stated that the data suggests that the MTT intervention transformed the gut environment into a healthier status, leading to long-term benefit on both GI and ASD symptoms.

Adams said many of the participants in the trial shared common traits, including

  • birth by C-section
  • reduced breastfeeding
  • increased antibiotics
  • low fiber intake by the mother and child

All of these lead to limited biodiversity in their gut bacteria. Due to the open label nature of the study and the small sample size used, more research is needed in order to verify the usefulness of MTT as a therapeutic.

The initial study involved a “first-generation” estimate as to optimal dose and duration of treatment, and it was enough for 90% of the children to have substantial benefit. The team is now working on optimizing the dosing and duration to try to improve benefits even more, and to determine if booster doses may be needed in some cases.

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/12/11/bitter-pill-to-swallow-for-c-diff/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/19/germs-in-your-gut-are-talking-to-your-brain-scientists-want-to-know-what-theyre-saying/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/12/sibo-clinical-implications-natural-therapeutic-options/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/29/cochrane-review-probiotics-reduce-c-diff-by-70-in-high-risk-patients-taking-antibiotics/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/15/prebiotics-probiotics-do-they-really-work-for-gut-health/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/18/investigational-c-diff-treatment-granted-fast-track-designation/

Tick Prevention 2019

Tick Prevention 2019

It’s that time.  

Similar to Lyme/MSIDS treatment, tick prevention is a multi-pronged effort and includes protecting yourself, your yard, and your pets.  

How to protect yourself

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Dress for success:  Research has shown permethrin treated clothing causes ticks to drop off or renders them unable to bite: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/27/study-conforms-permethrin-causes-ticks-to-drop-off-clothing/.

  • wear light colored clothing
  • tuck pants into socks
  • wear a long-sleeved shirt and tuck into pants
  • wear a hat
  • wear shoes & socks
  • spray or soak all of it with permethrin. Permethrin is not recommended for the skin. You can also purchase pre-treated clothing. Wisconsin Lyme Network (WLN) is selling socks. Proceeds go toward training WI doctors: https://wisconsinlymenetwork.z2systems.com/np/clients/wisconsinlymenetwork/giftstore.jsp
  • Spray exposed skin with DEET or picaridin. Picaridin is less toxic and approved for kids. For instance the top 3 scores for repelling deer ticks was: pump spray Sawyer Picaridin 20% which lasted 8.5 hours, aerosol Ben’s 30% Deet Tick and Insect Wilderness which also lasted 8.5 hours, and pump spray Repel Lemon Eucalyptus which lasted 7 hours. Please know that “natural” products using things like essential oils have NOT been proven to repel ticks.  Go here to learn more:  https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/natural-repellents.html
  • stay in the middle of trails
  • when returning indoors, dry clothing on high heat for at least 10 min. Washing clothes will not kill ticks. High heat will.
  • take a shower and do a tick check. Have someone else look on your back and back of head.
  • If an embedded tick is found, remove it promptly by using a pointy tick removal tweezer. Get as close to the mouthpart as possible and pull steadily straight up without squeezing or twisting. Do not touch the tick with bare hands. Put in ziplock freezer bag and put in freezer you plan on having it tested. Remember; however, testing isn’t 100% accurate and you will not want to wait for results if you’ve been bitten. Your doctor should treat you prophylactially. It’s not worth the risk of infection. http://
  • be vigilant and educate others
  • For a video put out by Wisconsin DHS:  http://
  • Great video on how to educate kids on how to be tick smart http://

How to protect your yard

baseyardSOURCE: TickEncounter Resource Center. For an interactive map: https://tickencounter.org/faq/tick_habitat

  • Do not invite wildlife: There are numerous things you can do to discourage wildlife from your yard. Don’t put food outside, including bird feeders. Birds are probably the #1 transporters of ticks. Plant undesirable plants. Install fencing. Apply deer repellents. Clean up brush and leaves, and move woodpiles away from daily activity.
  • Spray your yard or use granules: Target areas where ticks live as well as perennial beds and along trails and paths in wooded areas. Normally, treatment is not needed in open and sunny lawns with short grass (although there are exceptions!).  http://
  • Eliminate Tick Habitat: ticks love wooded, shady areas that are humid. Rake leaves, trim shrubs and trees, and treat border areas, stone walls, sheds, and wood piles. Creating borders of wood chips or stone will remind you of tick-risky areas and danger zones. They particularly like Japanese Barberry, honeysuckle, and buckthorn: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/01/20/manage-barberry-lower-ticks/. From experience I’ve learned not to use natural stone for landscape walls. Chipmunks burrow into the crevices bringing loads of ticks with them. I will only use interlocking stone now.     

5456904Remove Japanese Barberry, honeysuckle, and buckthorns

  • Target mice & rodents: Since ticks become infected by feeding on reservoir animals such as mice, chipmunks, squirrels, and deer, targeting these animals will help reduce the tick population. Ticktubes are tubes filled with permethrin treated cotton balls you place in rodent accessible areas so they will take the cotton back to their nests and they will rub their bodies against the treated cotton. Ticks feeding on the mice are then killed by the insecticide. Studies have shown risk to be reduced by 97% when using tick tubes. More info on how many you need for the size of your yard, etc.:http://www.ticktubes.com/facts.html

ticktube

How to Protect your pets

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  • Contain your pets: The easiest way to protect your pets is to keep them away from ticks, by create a safe zone. This can be done by using fencing (solid or invisible) and or putting them on a chain where they can only go in certain areas.
  • Groom pets:  Keep hair short to be able to identify ticks quickly. Brush hair and remove any ticks before bringing pets into the house.
  • Keep pets off all furniture and never let them into your bed.
  • Apply Tick control products on pets.  For an excellent example of products:  https://tickencounter.org/prevention/tick_control#top. There is a Lyme vaccine for dogs; however, it can cause Lyme disease symptoms just as the failed Lymerix vaccine did on humans. Cats also need tick protectionMake sure to discuss options with you veterinarian as they are educated with current information. Read all labels from products carefully.
  • Some tick facts: http://
  • More tick facts: http://

Resources:

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/05/11/tick-prevention-and-removal-2017/

https://tickencounter.org

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/lyme-vaccine-dogs/

https://www.petmd.com/cat/parasites/evr_ct_10_ways_to_stop_ticks_from_biting_your_cat

 

Lyme Disease & Neurological Changes in Children

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lyme-disease-neurological-changes-children-somer-delsignore/

Lyme Disease and Neurological Changes in Children

By Somer DelSignore

Clinically we find a multitude of neuro-psychological symptoms that present with children afflicted with tick-borne illnesses. Many of those symptoms did not exist prior to  exposure.  The number of children with anxiety disorders, OCD, mood dysregulation, ADHD, bipolar disorder, gender dysphoria and others are prominent and included in the working diagnosis and treatment plan of Lyme and other tick bhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/somerdelsignorekidslyme/orne diseases.

There are countless studies linking neuro-psychological impairments with Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses many of which suggest a larger percentage of children are affected.

A review of literature reveals studies by Brian Fallon and others that link Lyme disease to neurological and psychological ailments. New onset depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and other mental illnesses were postulated to be the result of a Lyme disease exposure. Fallon outlined several supportive strands of evidence throughout his research. He noted the incidence of mental illness is greater in those with Lyme disease versus other medical conditions. These psychiatric conditions were new onset and did not exist prior to contracting Lyme disease. Lastly, these mental illnesses improved after administering courses of antibiotic therapy. 

So what is thought to contribute to the psychological changes? Further evaluation thru single photon emission tomography or SPECT scans as it’s known revealed that those with

“Lyme disease typically have multifocal areas of decreased perfusion in the cortex and subcortical white matter” Fallon et al. 1997.

Cortical and subcortical perfusion is studied extensively with PTSD patients. The pattern of poor perfusion is similar to those who also suffer from a tick-borne illness. A result of poor perfusion can lead to  breakdown of the neural pathways  that provide an interconnectedness between all regions of the brain. Specifically, the subcortical regions play a significant role in emotional regulation. This is where your fight or flight response stems via control of Dopamine and other neurotransmitters.  Your cortical regions control sensory, motor and visual response. In the presence of Lyme disease, which has an affinity for the neurological system, inflammation occurs contributing to this poor perfusion state. It’s plausible to suggest neurological and psychological changes as it relates to tick-borne illness.

Studies directed specifically at the pediatric population were conducted by Rosalie Greenberg, a pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist. Although small, Dr. Greenberg studied 14 children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She noted

  • 6 had mycoplasma
  • 3 had B. Burgdorferi the bacteria that causes Lyme disease
  • 10 had Babesia
  • 4  had Bartonella
  • ALL had tick borne diseases
  • Out of the 14 only 1 described typical joint pain associated with Lyme disease

Bransfield and others discuss links for autism spectrum disorder development in children as evident by the spirochete that causes Lyme can be passed from an infected mother to her unborn child. This can lead to neurological ailments as well as significant immune dysfunction. Supportive evidence showed upwards of 30% of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder had a positive blood test for Borrelia Burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme Disease. I’ll certainly delve into autism and links to infection in the coming weeks as I’m fascinated!

Children present differently. Perhaps it is the vulnerable blood brain barrier or naïve immune system that contributes. We know in children the brain continues to develop until they reach their early 20’s.  Studies looking closer at the link between childrens’ neurological status and tick-borne illness speculates around 70% to present with onset of headaches, fatigue, mood disturbance, irritability and acute outbursts where symptoms did not previously exist. Anecdotally, I too have witnessed these accounts.

Let’s postulate, just for fun, out of the 4 million children currently diagnosed with mental illness at least 30% or more of those have a tick-borne illness. That’s roughly 1.2 million children whom could be cured of their mental illness by merely treating the infection with courses of antibiotics and/or natural remedies.

This certainly would present a fundamental paradigm shift within the mental healthcare community but isn’t it worth it? Shouldn’t we all Think Differently about mental illness?

The take home message here for parents. If your child (or you) present with sudden onset of neurological changes, mood swings, ADD/ADHD, sleep disturbances, motor or vocal tics, fasciculations, unfounded anxieties and fears, rage, impulsivity, concentration issues, dyslexia, regression with milestones etc, seek out an evaluation for tick-borne illnesses.

Should your primary care provider refuse to perform the test or argue otherwise….find someone else!

Recent Tick-Task Force initiatives, passed by NY state legislators and championed by Senator Sue Serino, secured 1 million dollars to fund research that allow better understanding of the link between Lyme, tick-borne diseases and mental health issues. These funds will also help support preventative actions as well as raise awareness. It’s solid movement in the right direction. This recent legislation would direct the Office of Mental Hygiene and Department of Health to conduct these studies. Fingers crossed for the follow thru! You can find more information about critical legislation passed recently in the NY senate and full description of the tick-borne illness initiatives by visiting serino.nysenate.gov.

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**Comment**

More and more coming out daily on how pathogens are implicated in brain diseases and mental disorders.  This article should be shared widely as there are multitudes of children being misdiagnosed with mental illness that could be cured by treating the underlying infection(s).

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/07/missing-links-connect-the-dots-between-lyme-mental-health/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/26/lyme-its-known-involvement-in-mental-health/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/08/misdiagnosed-how-children-with-treatable-medical-issues-are-mistakenly-labeled-as-mentally-ill/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/03/treat-the-infection-psychiatric-symptoms-get-better/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/10/18/psychiatric-lymemsids/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/09/19/three-things-for-parents-to-watch-for-regarding-tbis/

One prominent Wisconsin Lyme doctor states that 80% of his Autistic and PANS patients have Lyme/MSIDS.  Please share widely.