Medicine & Pharmacology, Behavioral Neuroscience; Lyme disease; Borrelia burgdorferi; tickborne diseases; persistent infection; treatment; assessment; depression; anxiety; sleep disorders; opioid addiction
There is increasing evidence and recognition that Lyme borreliosis, and other associated tick-borne diseases (LB/TBD) cause mental symptoms. Data was drawn from databases, search engines and clinical experience to review current information on LB/TBD. LB/TBD infections cause immune and metabolic effects that result in a gradually developing spectrum of neuropsychiatric symptoms, usually presenting with significant comorbidity and may include developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders, schizoaffective disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders (panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, intrusive symptoms), eating disorders, decreased libido, sleep disorders, addiction, opioid addiction, cognitive impairments, dementia, seizure disorders, suicide, violence, anhedonia, depersonalization, dissociative episodes, derealization and other impairments. Screening assessment followed by a comprehensive psychiatric clinical exam relevant to patient’s complaints and findings with a thorough history, mental status exam, review of systems, neurological exam, physical exam, a knowledgeable interpretation of laboratory findings, pattern recognition and clinical judgment facilitate diagnosis. Psychotropics and antibiotics may help improve functioning and prevent further disease progression. Awareness of the association between LB/TBD and neuropsychiatric impairments and studies of their prevalence in neuropsychiatric conditions can improve understanding of the causes of mental illness and violence and result in more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment.