Diagnosing Lyme Disease Neuropathy – The Great Mimic


Diagnosis of Lyme disease neuropathy can be complicated as the condition may mimic many other diseases, illnesses, or complaints. Lyme disease neck pain, for example, may simply be dismissed as a result of sleeping awkwardly, or being stressed, along with headaches and fatigue. These symptoms may be considered as causes and effects of each other rather than being the result of a single condition such as Lyme disease. Other patients may develop specific neurological problems, such as visual disturbances or altered sensation in the extremities or limbs which often comprise early symptoms of conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

There are many stories in the Lyme disease patient community of people going misdiagnosed and remaining that way for many months or even years with a chronic and incurable illness such as MS or ALS when their symptoms are actually caused by a curable infection, Lyme disease. It is also important to remember that some medications used to treat Lyme disease may have side-effects including neuropathy. Determining the cause of Lyme disease neuropathy is, therefore, extremely important so as to avoid permanent nerve damage occurring.

lyme disease Polyneuropathy differential diagnosis

There are many causes of polyneuropathy, Lyme disease included.

Symptoms of Lymphocytic Meningitis and Lyme Disease

Lymphocytic meningitis is the most common neurological dysfunction associated with stage II Lyme disease and is thought to be preceded by the Lyme disease rash, erythema migrans, in around 40% of cases. The specific symptoms of lymphocytic meningitis include headache, mostly at the front of the head (frontal) or at the base of the skull (occipital), along with mild neck stiffness, photophobia (light sensitivity), and nausea with possible vomiting. Fever may also be observed in some patients and headaches may be made worse by extraocular eye movements. Taking time to ensure the correct diagnosis of any neuropathy creates the best possible conditions for successfully treating a patient and alleviating the problem. Lyme disease neuropathy may be short-lived and resolve within a few weeks or months or may become a chronic and debilitating problem.

Continue Reading –> Prognosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease Neuropathy