Lyme disease causes a wide range of disabling mental and psychiatric symptoms

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Neuropsychiatric Lyme Borreliosis: an overview with particular attention to the clinical practice of the specialized psychiatrist


There is growing evidence and recognition that Lyme borreliosis (LB) causes mental symptoms. This article is based on databases, search engines and clinical experience to review current information on LB.

LB causes immune and metabolic effects that result in a progressive spectrum of neuropsychiatric symptoms, usually presenting significant comorbidities that may include developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders, schizoaffective disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders (disorder of panic, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, intrusive symptoms), eating disorders, decreased libido, sleep disorders, addiction, opioid dependence, cognitive disorders, dementia , convulsive disorders, suicide, violence, anhedonia, depersonalization, dissociative episodes, derealization and other impairments.

Screening evaluation followed by an in-depth history, complete psychiatric clinical examination, systems review, mental status examination, neurological examination and physical examination relevant to patient complaints and results with clinical judgment, model recognition and informed interpretation of laboratory results makes diagnosis easier. Psychotropics and antibiotics can help improve functioning and prevent further progression of the disease. Awareness of the association between LB and neuropsychiatric disorders and studies of their prevalence in neuropsychiatric conditions can improve understanding of the causes of mental illness and violence and lead to more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Source: Of Bransfield RC. Lyme neuropsychiatric borreliosis: an overview with particular attention to the clinical practice of the specialized psychiatrist. Health care (Basel). 2018 August 25th; 6 (3). pii: E104. doi: 10.3390 / healthcare6030104.