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From the Townsend Letter
April 2007


Letter from the Publisher
by Jonathan Collin, MD

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While preparing for our winter recess at the end of 2006, we put out the word that we needed input from practitioners, researchers and laboratories on diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. At the time, we didn't have any papers, although our columnists were interested. Somehow, the word got out in the "Lyme disease" community that we were seeking articles from the experts. Dr. Tom Klaber in the San Francisco Bay area heard about our call and volunteered to put out the word to his contact list. We didn't hear much before the holidays, but after Klaber emailed his list in early January, we were nearly swept away with the response. We have received over 15 papers on Lyme disease, discussing the definition of Lyme, its clinical course, diagnosis and diagnostic difficulties, laboratory testing and testing obstacles, treatment strategies, and policy and legal issues. As of this date in early February, we continue to receive more papers on Lyme disease from MDs, PhDs, DCs, and concerned public Lyme disease advocates. Our major difficulty as editors has been deciding which articles we would print and which ones would be excluded from the print magazine and only made available on our website:

Tami Duncan is another individual who has contributed enormously to soliciting articles for this special issue on Lyme disease. Duncan is the co-founder and president of the Lyme-Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation, a Lyme disease advocacy group dedicated to establishing a probable relationship between autism and Lyme disease. Founded in 2006, the LIA held a "think tank" for Lyme disease physicians and researchers in January of this year. Duncan's group is planning another think tank for all health professionals in southern California at the end of June. Details are available at

It would be reckless of me to summarize the papers we are publishing this month. I will mention a few papers to stimulate your interest. In a two-part paper, Dr. Waterhouse introduces us to the "Marshall Protocol" for treating Lyme disease. The Marshall Protocol (visually depicted on the cover) employs graduated dosing of antibiotics but only after "disabling" Vitamin D in the body. Waterhouse explains the science behind Vitamin D's role in causing inflammation and infectivity in Lyme disease. It is unusual to publish original research in the Townsend Letter, but this month, we feature two papers by separate research teams who have tested new laboratory technologies for diagnosing Lyme that are more specific and selective than Western Blot testing (see Vojdani of Immunosciences and Shah of IGeneX). The intriguing relationship between autism and Lyme disease is considered by Dr. Radoff and Ms. Blanco, presenters at the January 2007 LIA meeting. Prof. Nicolson considers the very important role of co-infections in Lyme disease. Dr. Duke, renown for herbal work with the US Department of Agriculture, writes a lighter piece on his own dealings with Lyme disease.

We invite our readership to continue this dialogue about Lyme disease, which has clearly become a much more important health concern in 2007 than the disease once considered – and still claimed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America – as curable with a one-month course of antibiotics.

Jonathan Collin, MD

Consult your doctor before using any of the treatments found within this site.

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