What are the effects of Borrelia burgdorferi on the body?
When early-stage Lyme is not properly diagnosed and treated, symptoms can worsen. Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, chief scientific officer with Global Lyme Alliance, discusses some of Lyme’s more debilitating symptoms in a recent podcast, “The Facts on Lyme Disease”. Below is an excerpt.
Host: How does Borrelia burgdorferi cause symptoms in the body?
Dr. Kotsoris: Borrelia burgdorferi causes the symptoms in the body based on what organ systems it has particular affected. For example in the joints it will cause inflammation of the joint capsule, production of what’s known as a joint effusion, or a collection of fluid in the joint space, in doing so with inflammation cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility. If it affects the heart in Lyme carditis, classically it has affected the heart by creating what’s known as conduction delays. In other words, that the electrical signal from the top to the bottom of the heart may be impeded, and many patients with Lyme carditis develop a conduction system delay that can actually even progress to a complete heart block requiring either a temporary or permanent pacemaker.
Patients also can develop cognitive dysfunction, behavioral changes, if it affects the brain. Actually even although still controversial and not 100% proven, may actually lead to changes pathologically that resemble Alzheimer’s disease in the creation of what’s known as Amyloid plaques. This can lead to a dementing type of illness late in the disease. All things considered, Borrelia burgdorferi is a systemic illness, and by that I mean it can affect anything, eyes, skin, intestines, heart … Everything.
A detailed list of Lyme’s 300-plus symptoms may be found here.
Listen to the entire podcast here.