Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is There a Connection between Lyme Disease and Autism?

Since Avril Lavigne came out that she has been suffering from Lyme Disease there has been a lot of
conversation about the fastest growing infectious disease in the U.S.  There has even been a social media challenge called Take a Bite out of Lyme.

But did you know that some are suggesting there is an Autism connection?  According to the LymeDiseaseChallenge.org, 20-30% of children diagnosed with Autism could also be diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  Some suggest that the number could be higher, but Lyme is very difficult to diagnose.  Up to 50% of the cases of Lyme go undiagnosed with current CDC endorsed blood test, which only looks for one strain of Borrelia.  There are over 100 strains of Borrelia in the United States alone.  

About 300,000 people are diagnosed each year with Lyme Disease.  Symptoms of a recent infection are fever, headaches, fatigue and a rash.  Over time Lyme will affect the joints heart and nervous system.

In April of 2013 an article was posted in the Journal of American Medical Association publication stating there was no correlation between Lyme and Autism.  In this study, 70 children with Autism  were tested for Lyme and none tested positive.  

Was this test conclusive or did they not test enough strains of Borrelia?  

Autism-Products.com decided to poll it's customers to see what they said.   Only one of the 80 respondents said that their loved one affected with Autism had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but some did exhibit some of the symptoms.

Over 20% of the people affected with Autism have had an expanding red rash in the past.
Over 25% reported joint pain.
Two of the parents also reported being diagnosed with Lyme.

Although this is far from a scientific survey, it is surely interesting and begs for further research on a correlation between Lyme and Autism.  Please use the links below for more detail on some of the opinions used here. 

http://lymediseasechallenge.org/lyme-autism/
http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2015/04/taking-a-bite-out-of-lyme-disease
http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/02/entertainment/avril-lavigne-lyme-disease-feat/
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35365/title/Autism-Lyme-Correlation-Debunked/
http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/20/health/lyme-disease-numbers/

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