That Lyme Disease and Multiple Infections Play Roles in Autism
With just one year into analyzing the connection
between Lyme disease and autism, new data has been released to put
this connection into perspective. Numbers indicate that 20-30% of
children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may be infected with
Lyme Borreliosis, and pathogenic Mycoplasma may be a contributor
in 58% of cases. With these staggering numbers, families and physicians
need education on the proper testing and treatment methods currently
available. With these percentages representing around 140,000 cases
of autism in the United States alone, the human impact of this disease
A recent article in Medical Hypotheses,
"The Association Between Tick-Borne Infections, Lyme Borreliosis
and Autism Spectrum Disorders" by Robert Bransfield, MD, collaborating
with top doctors in both fields on this paper such as Jeff Wulfman,
MD, William T. Harvey, MD, and Anju Usman, MD, explores these connections.
The summary of the article states that "chronic infectious
diseases, including tick-borne infections such as Borrelia burgdorferi
may have direct effects, promote other infections, and create a
weakened, sensitized, and immunologically vulnerable state during
fetal development and infancy, leading to increased vulnerability
for developing autism spectrum disorders."
Bransfield et al. examine clinical observations, case reports, laboratory
testing of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder for tick-borne
diseases, brain-imaging results, epidemiological findings, infections
and autism, tick-borne/Borreliosis infections and psychiatric illness,
and many other factors in this collaboration of research findings.
Bransfield et al. state, "If just 20% of the 560,000 recognized
cases of ASD in the US can be prevented or more effectively treated,
this could result in a savings of $358 billion in addition to the
incalculable human impact of this disease."
This article is an excellent compilation of new data released at
the 2007 Lyme-Autism Connection conference in Irvine, California.
In addition, data released by the Institute for Molecular Medicine
on Mycoplasma's and Borrelia's roles in autism proved
to be very valuable findings.
Parents needing more information on testing and treatment can turn
to the LIA Foundation for support at www.liafoundation.org.
The foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on research,
awareness, and education on the multiple infections, including Borrelia/Lyme
disease, and how that impacts children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.