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From the Townsend Letter
April 2008


The Lyme-Autism Connection

by Tami Duncan

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More Proof 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 is staggering.

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 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.


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April 27, 2008

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