ILADS President Calls for More Comprehensive Dialogue To Prevent Chronic Lyme Disease

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Most Lyme disease patients are not fully informed of their treatment options. Neither the Center for Disease Control (CDC) nor the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) disclose the existence of the ILADS-authored treatment guidelines. ILADS guidelines offer treatment options for patients whose Lyme disease symptoms persist after the short dose of antibiotics recommended by most doctors. ILADS believes full disclosure is good for patients and helps them avoid development of chronic Lyme disease. Chronic Lyme disease often results in debilitating symptoms such as chronic fatigue, migraine headaches and neurological difficulties.

They have the right to make informed decisions about their own medical care after being offered a choice of clinically proven treatment options.

During his closing remarks at the 2008 Scientific Meeting hosted by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), Dr. Daniel Cameron, ILADS president, stressed the need for more comprehensive dialogue between physicians and researchers regarding the prevention of chronic Lyme disease. Almost 300 physicians, researchers and other medical professionals attended the two-day ILADS conference designed to foster collaboration and dialogue between Lyme disease researchers and those who care and advocate for Lyme disease patients in a variety of settings. Held in San Francisco, the 2008 event drew the most geographically diverse group of professionals ever.

"Recommending appropriate outdoor dress, environmental control and short term doses of antibiotics are not enough to prevent chronic Lyme disease," said Cameron. "Physicians need to adopt a broader perspective in order to help patients avoid years of chronic, debilitating illness. Patients need to be informed of their treatment options."

Reports of chronic Lyme disease continue despite several secondary preventative strategies promoted by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) including narrow diagnostic criteria and short term (30 days or less) antibiotic treatment schedules. The most often referenced Lyme disease studies demonstrate patients can remain sick many years after treatment.

Two schools of thought have emerged regarding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) clinical practice guidelines (CPG) conclude there is no evidence of chronic Lyme disease and characterize post-treatment symptoms such as chronic fatigue, migraine headaches and neurological difficulties as nothing more than "aches and pains of daily living". ILADS CPG concluded that persistent Lyme disease symptoms (PLDS) can be severe and chronic and recommend treatment strategies proven to be effective.

Neither the IDSA nor the CDC disclose the existence of the ILADS treatment guidelines, leaving many physicians and patients to mistakenly believe there is only one set of treatment guidelines for Lyme disease.

"Lyme patients deserve the same courtesy as other patients," added Cameron. "They have the right to make informed decisions about their own medical care after being offered a choice of clinically proven treatment options."

About ILADS
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.

Media contact: Pam Kahl. pam.kahl@verbal800.com 503.284.1534

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