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Arch Neurol. 1989 Jul;46(7):790-5.

Central nervous system manifestations of Lyme disease.

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Department of Neurology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.


We studied six patients with central nervous system manifestations of Lyme disease. Weeks to years after the initial infection, behavioral changes, ataxia, and/or weakness in bulbar or peripheral muscles developed. Four of the six patients had a lymphocytic pleocytosis in the cerebrospinal fluid, and two of them had magnetic resonance imaging scans suggestive of demyelination. In a patient with a subacute encephalitis, a brain biopsy specimen showed microgliosis without an inflammatory infiltrate and spirochetes morphologically compatible with Borrelia burgdorferi. All six patients had elevated antibody titers to B burgdorferi in serum, but none had selective concentration of specific antibody in the cerebrospinal fluid. All six patients were treated with high-dose intravenous penicillin; four had complete recoveries and two did not. Lyme disease may affect the central nervous system causing organic brain disease or syndromes suggestive of demyelination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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