The father, Mason Kuhn, of the family’s blog that I just posted yesterday, is a fourth grade teacher and went back to school to work on his second masters degree in special education. The blog states (http://our-lyme-autism-journey.blogspot.com/):
“Mason went on to finish his degree and did a first ever study on 5 different children of which were all diagnosed with Autism and Lyme Disease. He did a study on their progress (related to physical and mental changes) before and after treatment and the results are unbelievable. So unbelievable are there physical/mental changes from the antibiotic therapy that it makes you wonder, was this the culprit all along?”
Click on the link to read his paper. It was recently published in Medical Hypotheses Peer Reviewed Medical Journal (first of its kind) done on children diagnosed with both Lyme Disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder that shows their differences in physical/mental symptoms before and after antibiotic treatment. He follows 5 kids before and after their antibiotic treatment, and the results are truly amazing!
Some interesting points:
*In a personal interview with an assistant of Dr. Charles Ray Jones, the only pediatric physician in the world who exclusively treats Lyme disease, she claimed that 50% of his patients who have been diagnosed with an ASD have come back positive for Lyme disease. She also claimed that all of his patients’ symptoms improve with antibiotic therapy.
*An estimated 750,000 individuals in the United States are affected by autism. If 20% of those individuals test positive for Lyme disease, 152,000 people could improve their overall health with antibiotic therapy.
*It is estimated that an individual with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) over their lifetime is 3.2 million dollars. If a large number of children can alleviate some of their symptoms with antibiotic therapy to treat their Lyme disease the financial impact could also be significant.
*Cases of Lyme disease and Autism Disorder and found that the majority of the states with the highest prevalence of Lyme disease also had the highest prevalence of Autism Disorder.
*If individuals with Autism Disorder have an immune system that responds differently to bacterial infection it may make them more susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental agents, like Lyme disease.
*A clue to why some individuals diagnosed with an ASD display repetitive behaviors, like hand flapping, may lie in a medical condition that many Lyme disease patients experience called paresthesia. Paresthesia is a tingling sensation, often in the fingers or toes (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2010). The sensation, which happens without warning, is usually painless and described as tingling or numbness, skin crawling, or itching.
*If a significant portion of patients with Lyme disease experience a tingling sensation in their extremities (fingers and toes) and a percentage of children who are diagnosed with an ASD also, unknowingly, are infected with Lyme disease it could explain why so many children diagnosed with an ASD present these restrictive and repetitive behaviors (hand flapping and toe walking).
*Lyme disease has been called “The Great Imitator” because infected individuals often present neurological and physical symptoms that are similar to other disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorders.
*Early screening for Lyme disease could potentially be an important factor in determining how well an individual will recover from the infection. The three youngest children in the study (Child A, B, and E) showed the most positive progress on their SAP-O form during the period they were on antibiotics.
*If an individual is diagnosed with an ASD and they are found to have Lyme disease, treating the Lyme disease will most likely not result in the individual losing their ASD diagnosis, but it could significantly improve their physical and mental health. If a child presents signs of an ASD it should be worth inquiring to a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor [LLMD] because they could be infected with a deliberating neurological disease and antibiotic therapy could improve their symptoms.