Lyme Disease and Depression

The connection between Lyme disease and depression matters to me because I have a close friend who suffers from both diseases. I was previously unaware that Lyme disease could impact a person’s personality and mood. Lyme disease causes fatigue and lethargy, so usually infected people take frequent naps throughout the day. Spending a lot of time sleeping can also be a sign of depression, so that it is one sign that is shared by Lyme disease and depression. Mental health is widely researched and discussed topic today, so I believe the relationship between Lyme disease and depression should be studied and regarded as a serious issue.

In my blog post, I will analyze two recent articles that discuss the connection between Lyme disease and depression. Furthermore, I will discuss the causative agent of Lyme disease and the signs and symptoms of the different stages.

Source 1: New scan technique reveals brain inflammation associated with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome

The first source is an article from Medical Xpress that announces widespread brain inflammation was found in patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicines used a chemical marker to compare brain inflammation in patients with PTLDS and healthy patients. The results determined that the patients with PTLDS had elevated levels of chemokine CCL19, which is a marker of inflammation.

The major finding in the study was that the “brain fog” experienced by patients with PTLDS has a physiological basis not just psychosomatic cause or relation to depression or anxiety. This means that Lyme disease induces symptoms that resemble those of depression and mental illness.

Source 2: Common Physiological Causes Of Depression In Chronic Illness And How To Remedy Them

The second source is an article from Health Line that describes how Lyme disease causes inflammation that leads to depression. The author of the article was infected with Lyme disease and suffered from the depression. The author wrote, “After about 10 years into the illness, a doctor told me that I had mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) induced by Lyme disease and mold toxicity. MCAD is a condition whereby the body releases an excessive amount of histamine from mast cells, which are a type of immune cell.” As a result of the release of histamine, a person can suffer from widespread inflammation. According to the article, MCAD contributes to chronic illnesses like depression. This article was interesting to me because it discusses how the cause of inflammation.

Borrelia burgdorferi

Causative Agent

The causative agent of Lyme disease is a type of bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a spirochete. Lyme disease is a zoonosis because it transmitted from ticks to humans; it cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. The type of tick that transmits Lyme disease is a deer tick.

deer tick

Early localized infection: Signs and Symptoms (a few days to sever

  1. fever
  2. bullseye rash (only appears in about 80% of cases)
  3. lymph node enlargement near bite
  4. flulike symptoms

Early disseminated infection: Signs and Symptoms

  1. heart ad nervous system involvement
  2. meningitis
  3. severe muscle pain 

Late persistent infection: Signs and Symptoms

  1. chronic arthritis
  2. nervous system impairment
bullseye rash

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