Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick. This disease is called the “great imitator” and has been vastly under-diagnosed in the U.S. due to inadequate testing methods and a general lack of acknowledgement by the medical community.
A nasty relative of the STD syphilis, Lyme disease and its numerous co-infections can mimic or cause a multitude of medical, neurological, and psychiatric conditions, yet is much harder to cure.
THE SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE
Along with physiological symptoms like unexplained fevers, swollen glands, sore throat, headache, and joint pain or swelling, Lyme disease can cause the following common neuropsychological issues:
- Impaired attention, focus, concentration, judgment and impulse control
- Impaired memory and speech functions
- Disorganization and getting lost
- Poor problem-solving and decision-making abilities
- Slower mental processing speed
- Symptoms similar to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Psychosis and hallucinations
70% of those afflicted with Lyme disease report changes in their thinking, such as memory loss and reduced mental sharpness.
The fortunate ones are able to catch Lyme within the first few weeks, when the appropriate antibiotics have a much better chance of working. Unfortunately, Lyme disease is often missed and the infection is allowed to take hold, disrupting the immune system and causing a cascade of inflammatory responses.
A tick bite is the best way to know whether you are at risk – however, one study showed that only 17% of those surveyed even recalled being bitten!
At Amen Clinics, we have extensive experience diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, particularly the neuropsychiatric symptoms that Lyme disease can cause.