Lyme disease has become a major epidemic in this country
Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) October 30, 2007
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) announced today that it has elected Dr. Daniel Cameron to serve as the new President of the Board for the next two years. The appointment was announced during the annual ILADS conference that drew more than 300 attendees that included medical practitioners and researchers who specialize in Lyme Disease and representatives from patient advocacy groups.
Dr. Cameron is the chief author of the ILADS evidence-based medicine practice guidelines. The ILADS treatment guidelines are based on evidence that Lyme is a complex disease, with symptoms that can vary significantly in patients. The ILADS guidelines are in direct conflict with the current accepted guidelines which support a view of Lyme as a simple disease that requires short doses of antibiotics as treatment.
"Lyme disease has become a major epidemic in this country," said Dr. Cameron. "It is a complex and debilitating disease for many people. As president of the board, I hope to help bring researchers and practicing physicians together to identify better ways to diagnose and treat Lyme."
Cameron is an attending physician at the Northern Westchester Hospital and has served as an ILADS board member for the last six years. Cameron has made many contributions to clinical research on Lyme disease. He has pioneered the field of clinical epidemiology in Lyme disease as an author of practice guidelines, analytic reviews, and clinical trials. He continues to devote much of his research time to improving the outcomes of Lyme disease patients.
Cameron succeeds Dr. Raphael Stricker, who has served as ILADS president for the last two years. During his tenure, Stricker has successfully led ILADS to a prominent position in the fight against tick-borne diseases, passionately promoting the ILADS standard of care for Lyme. Stricker authored the article that appeared in the July 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, one of the most prestigious journals in the field of infectious disease and microbiology. The article represented the first time that evidence supporting the ILADS point of view has been published by a leading American infectious disease journal.
Controversy Over Treatment Guidelines
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported cases of Lyme disease have more than doubled in the last 15 years. Latest statistics indicate more than 20,000 cases are reported to the government each year. However, many experts believe the actual number of cases is closer to 200,000.
For those patients who demonstrate classic symptoms of the disease soon after recognizing a tick bite, such as a "bull's eye" rash and joint pain, a short dose of antibiotics often eradicates the disease from the body. But only 50% of Lyme patients actually recall a tick bite. And the classic symptoms are typically experienced by only a fraction of patients diagnosed with the disease.
ILADS treatment guidelines are based on the belief that Lyme disease is a complex illness that is often difficult to diagnose and requires specialized treatment based on patient symptoms and physician judgment. Guideline highlights include:
--Given lack of a definitive diagnostic test for Lyme disease, laboratory results should not be used to exclude a patient from treatment.
-- Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis and tests should be used to support rather than supersede the physician's judgment.
-- Early use of antibiotics can prevent persistent, recurrent, and refractory Lyme disease.
-- Duration of antibiotic therapy should be guided by the patient's response to treatment, rather than by an arbitrary (ie, 30 day) treatment course.
-- The practice of stopping antibiotics to allow for delayed recovery is not recommended for persistent Lyme disease. In these cases, it is reasonable to continue treatment for several months after clinical and laboratory abnormalities have begun to resolve and symptoms have disappeared.
ILADS is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society, dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and its associated diseases. ILADS promotes understanding of tick-borne diseases through research and education and strongly supports physicians and other health care professionals dedicated to advancing the standard of care for Lyme and its associated diseases.
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