Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Tick-Borne Diseases

Book: Microorganisms and Mental Health

Chapter: Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Tick-Borne Diseases. Shannon L. Delaney, Lilly A. Murray & Brian A. Fallon. First Online:

In North America, Lyme disease (LD) is primarily caused by the spirochetal bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to humans by Ixodes species tick bites, at an estimated rate of 476,000 patients diagnosed per year. Acute LD often manifests with flu-like symptoms and an expanding rash known as erythema migrans (EM) and less often with neurologic, neuropsychiatric, arthritic, or cardiac features. Most acute cases of Lyme disease are effectively treated with antibiotics, but 10–20% of individuals may experience recurrent or persistent symptoms. This chapter focuses on the neuropsychiatric aspects of Lyme disease, as these are less widely recognized by physicians and often overlooked. Broader education about the potential complexity, severity, and diverse manifestations of tick-borne diseases is needed.

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