PANS and Tick-Born Illness

Ticks are active all year long, which means we can get Lyme, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, or any other tick-borne infection any time of the year. Of course, our odds go up when we spend more time outside in the warmer months. Tick-borne infections can trigger PANS or be a co-morbid diagnosis. So it is essential to understand how to prevent exposure, remove ticks, know the signs and symptoms of an infection, and how to treat if exposed.

Lyme disease, Borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is the fastest growing vector-borne illness in the United States. Lyme disease is transmitted by a bite from an infected Ixodes, blacked legged, tick. According to the CDC, more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the US. CDC Lyme Stats

Is your children’s typical behavior a little or a lot off? Have they complained about physical issues like neck pain, joint pain, fatigue, headaches or flu-like symptoms? If yes, this could be an early sign of recent tick exposure and Lyme disease. These symptoms are easy to miss, plus many symptoms get chalked up to something else. Everyone gets headaches from time to time. Joint pain could be mistaken for growing pains. Flu in the summer? Sure it can happen. But don’t overlook and dismiss these symptoms, especially if they are prolonged or accompanied by behavioral changes. We suggest you write down possible symptoms as they crop up, so you establish a timeline if needed. Lyme Disease Symptom Overview

Has your child had behavioral changes such as new or worsening onset of OCD, anxiety, defiance, ADHD, or executive functioning skills? Are they no longer functioning and socializing at their normal level? Are they getting diagnosed with several different disorders? If yes, this could be a sign of tick-borne or other infection. Common Symptoms of PANS

Remember, not all patients will have a typical or any Lyme rash. Not all patients will ever see the tick attached; ticks can attach, transmit one or more diseases, and detach without ever going noticed. Do not assume you or your loved ones have never been bitten by a tick.

Children with tick-borne infections, if diagnosed and treated promptly, usually do get better. However, if Lyme disease or other tick-borne infections go undiagnosed and therefore untreated, symptoms can worsen and can be harder to treat. Please see the resource section on testing. It is vital to find a Lyme literate doctor to treat.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. ASPIRE will post several topics on Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness. Check back here for updates.

Anti-lysoganglioside and other anti-neuronal autoantibodies in post-treatment Lyme Disease and Erythema Migrans after repeat infection

Anti-lysoganglioside and other anti-neuronal autoantibodies in post-treatment Lyme Disease and Erythema Migrans after repeat infection

Brian A.Fallon, BarbaraStrobino, SeanReim, JulieStoner, Madeleine W.Cunningham Brain, Behavior, & Immunity – Health, Volume 2, February 2020, 100015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbih.2019.100015

This study examines molecular mimicry targeting neural tissue after Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) infection. Patients with Lyme disease have a greater frequency of specific anti-neuronal autoantibodies and functional neuronal activation compared to community controls without a history of Lyme disease.

“Highlights

  • The EM ​+ ​prior LD group had significantly elevated anti-neuronal antibodies.
  • The EM ​+ ​prior LD group had significantly elevated CaM Kinase activation.
  • Anti-Lysoganglioside Antibodies are significantly elevated in the PTLS group.
  • Prior infection may lead to immune priming and increased autoantibodies.”
Lyme disease and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS): an overview

Rhee H, Cameron D. Lyme disease and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS): an overview. Int J Gen Med. 2012;5:163-174
https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S24212

B. burgdorferi and GAβHS are very different microorganisms that evade the immune system and invade a wide variety of tissues, including the central nervous system (CNS). Lyme and PANS can have periods of active disease and periods of remission. Both infections cause physical, neurological, and cognitive symptoms.