March 5, 2019 – After Lyme


Anchor lead: We may have a handle on why some people have persistent symptoms after having Lyme disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Post treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS is the condition where people continue to experience symptoms of Lyme disease months or even years after they’ve been treated. Now Jennifer Coughlin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins have used PET scanning to look for a substance called translocator protein in the brains of people with the condition.

Coughlin: We imaged them using our PET technology and showed that compared to people who do not have history of Lyme disease there is diffuse increase in translocator protein across the brain in those patients with PTLDS. What that means is that this translocator protein, a marker of inflammation, may be giving us a readout that there is inflammation in the brain of patients with PTLDS.  :27

Coughlin says this is a hint that inflammation in the brain is involved in post Lyme disease syndrome, but many more studies will be needed to prove that’s the culprit. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.