March 6, 2019 – Brain Inflammation and PTLDS


Anchor lead: What is the role of inflammation in post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Inflammation in the brain may play a role in so-called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, or PTLDS, research by Jennifer Coughlin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown. Coughlin says her previous work looking at the brains of athletes who’ve had repeated head injury has identified a protein called translocator protein that seems to be involved.

Coughlin: From studying other conditions like repeated head injury in sports. We’ve really learned that this marker, this translocator protein in the brain, can yes, be increased in injury but it also can be increased in that reparative process. So our studies really need to track patients over time to see whether this is a chronic persistent condition that we actually need to develop treatments to stop or whether this is a normal reaction that’s reparative for the brain and we should let it continue. :32

Coughlin says serial PET scans from the same person over time would help discern the role of inflammation better. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.