Lyme neuroborreliosis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Lyme disease is a multistage and multisystem disease. Neurological manifestations [termed Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB)] occur in about 10% of patients with Lyme disease. Diagnostics and treatment of early and late LNB are widely established. However, the management of persistent symptoms is still fraught with controversies, and therefore is the focus of this review.

Recent findings

The incidence of Lyme disease seems to be much higher than previously assumed. Laboratory methods (namely serological tests) are essential for diagnosing LNB, but only when performed according to the guidelines of scientific medical societies. Most patients treated for LNB have good outcomes. However, some patients remain with nonspecific symptoms despite conventional therapy, a syndrome called posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). IDSA has provided a formal definition of PTLDS, but its pathogenesis and even its existence remains to be clarified. Of note, there is evidence that these patients do not suffer from persistent Borrelia burgdorferi infection and do not benefit from additional antibiotic therapy.

Summary

Acute and late LNB are well established disorders. The existence of PTLDS as a disease entity is still unclear and needs further investigation. Unorthodox alternative therapies advertised to patients with Lyme disease on the Internet are not proven to be effective and well tolerated.

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