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Epidemiol Infect. 2008 Dec;136(12):1707-11. doi: 10.1017/S0950268808000472. Epub 2008 Mar 6.

Neuroborreliosis in the South West of England.

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Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.


Although Lyme borreliosis is increasingly diagnosed in the United Kingdom, few systematic studies have been performed there. UK data suggest that the commonest complications are neurological, but inadequate information exists about their nature and the incidence of late neuroborreliosis. Local data are necessary because clinical presentations may show geographical variation. This study aimed to provide data on clinical manifestations in an area of South West England and to estimate treatment delay. We reviewed clinical records of 88 patients in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital catchment area who had positive Borrelia antibody tests during a 5-year period. Fifty-six (64%) reported tick bites. The commonest presentations were erythema migrans (65%) and arthralgia/myalgia (27%). However, 22 patients (25%) had neurological symptoms other than headache alone. Fourteen had facial palsy, eight had confusion/drowsiness, four had meningism, five had radiculopathy, two had sixth nerve palsies, and two had peripheral neuropathies. No late, progressive or atypical neurological syndromes were found. Neurological manifestations were generally predictable and usually included either (or all) of meningoencephalitis, facial palsy or radiculopathy.

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