Lyme Disease

Borrelia Burgdorferi was discovered in 1982 by the scientist Willy Burgdorfer. Burgdorfer isolated the spirochetes that had caused the outbreak of rheumatoid arthritis in children in 1975 in the rural community of Lyme, Connecticut. He had found the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Burgdorferi Borrelia (Bb) is in a class of bacteria known as spirochetes. Spirochetes are characterized by their axial filaments, known as endoflagella. They move in a corkscrew motion, which hides the antigenic flagella from the host’s immune defenses. This type of bacteria is typically found in the intestinal tracts of animals.

Bb works by invading the blood of mammals and birds. Ticks, after feeding on the blood of the infected animals, transfer the bacteria to larger warm-blooded mammals, primarily white-tailed deers, but also humans. Once in the blood, Bb creates bio-toxins. These bio-toxins, mainly neurotoxins have an affinity for fatty cells. They directly affect the nervous system, which is made up of fatty cells. Borrelia Burgdorferi bio-toxins inhibit the normal activity of these cells, which then causes the body the degenerate. The toxins change specific sites of the brain because they interfere with neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinepine, and others. It is for this reason that Lyme disease can lead to an array of neurological and psychiatric disorders, from depression to Alzheimer’s and even autistic disorders.

On a cellular level the bio-toxins block the natural activity of hormones, enzymes and receptors. For example, they inhibit calcium channels, which results in other cellular chemicals not working properly and cellular energy production is slowed down. It is because of this process that one of the main symptoms of lyme disease is chronic fatigue.

There are 200,000 new cases of lyme disease every year according to the CDC. Borrelia Burgdorferi can lie dormant in its host for years before symptoms occur. It is difficult to diagnose lyme disease, but it is extremely important, if you believe that you have been exposed to a tick bite to consult your doctor. There is a 48 hour period once a tick has attached to a host before infection occurs, so if the tick is immediately removed then there is no need to worry. Typically, if lyme disease does occur, the first sign is a rash that looks like a bull’s eye. Also, symptoms include joint pains, chills, fever, and exhaustion. Immediately see a doctor if these symptoms worsen, into chronic fatigue, and nervous system problems, such as numbness or tingling. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat lyme disease. Early treatment ensures recovery.