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Experts Weigh in on Chronic Lyme Disease

An article in The New York Times’ Well blog examines Chronic Lyme disease, also known as Post-Treatment Lyme disease Syndrome (PTLDS). Ten to 15 percent of Lyme disease patients report symptoms of PTLDS. Patients are forced to seek treatment from doctors willing to prescribe long-term antibiotics, even though they show “no significant or lasting benefit in controlled clinical trials” and present risks such as antibiotic-resistant infection, intractable diarrhea, kidney or liver damage, and even death. However, some patients report seeing benefits from the antibiotics. One expert theorizes that benefits may come from the “anti-inflammatory effect that relieves pain,” or that patients may have “a low-level, persistent infection that is temporarily suppressed by antibiotics.” Some experts believe that a placebo effect may also cause the benefits.

Read it in The New York Times’ Well blog.