The challenge for patients

The Netherlands Journal of Medicine has been shining an interesting light on attitudes to Lyme disease: now you see reason; now you don’t. In March 2011 the Netherlands Journal of Medicine published a review (Tired of Lyme borreliosis. Coumou et al) which seemed intended to help Dutch physicians cope with the many people who believe they [...]

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All Change

In anticipation of its incorporation into Public Health England, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has been reviewing its microbiology services and management. As part of the resulting re-organisation the functions of the Lyme Borreliosis Unit are being moved to the Special Pathogens Reference Unit at Porton which already provides reference services for a number of [...]

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A plea from across the pond for research into chronic Lyme

Chronic Lyme Disease: It’s Time to Solve the Medical Mystery Inside an Enigma. This well-written and moderate article from the US, seeking research into the unknown areas of optimum length of treatment, best drugs to use and so on, caught our eye precisely because it was so well written and moderate, despite the writer experiencing [...]

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Immune response develops in waves

How do we know how the immune response develops in untreated patients? It is generally said that after a tick bite, the IgM response develops first, followed by the IgG response. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) states “The chances of a positive test in early infection range from about 30% in the first two weeks [...]

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Trust in Healthcare

Swedish Patients’ experiences: a BMJ open access paper has just been published. Wessel M, Lynøe N, Juth N, et al. The tip of an iceberg? A cross-sectional study of the general public’s experiences of reporting healthcare complaints in Stockholm, Sweden. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000489. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2011-000489 Sweden has a Patients’ Advisory Committee, similar in function to [...]

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Guidelines matter

Medical science moves on; guidelines need updating because clinicians use them. No-one can believe it is a good thing for clinicians to apply guidelines that are known to be out of date. Because of this the National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC) in the USA requires that American guidelines are reviewed every 5 years. The IDSA guidelines of [...]

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Where your dog goes, so do you!

At the LDA 2011 conference Faith Smith told us about her research project at Bristol University surveying pet dogs to estimate the prevalence of Lyme disease infected ticks. Her paper has just been published. The random samples of ticks were from dogs inspected at veterinary surgeries across the UK. Samples positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that [...]

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Neurological care criticised by National Audit Office

The National Audit Office published its report into “Services for people with neurological conditions” just before Christmas. The study focussed on 3 neurological conditions (Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease). However, the study found, through literature reviews and focus groups with charities, patients and carers, that there were similar issues for people with [...]

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2012 – We can hope

We look forward to this new year with the undiminished hope that entrenched positions will relax and we can all start moving forward. Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore [...]

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Concern about rise in Lyme disease cases

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Harry Burns, has published his annual report covering 2010. In Chapter 6, on zoonoses, Sir Harry says “One concerning trend in zoonoses, i.e. diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, is that shown by the increase in Lyme disease, a tick-borne disorder. The rise cannot be accounted for [...]

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