We still have a long way to go in testing, diagnosing and treating Lyme disease and especially Chronic Lyme disease. A recently published Rolling Stones article about Kris Kristofferson reminds us of just that. The iconic songwriter, performer, and actor has been struggling for years with memory loss that interrupted his life. He has recently been back on the scene due to a major improvement in his condition and ability to function.
Physicians have been telling Kris that his increased memory loss was due to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease brought on by many years of boxing, rugby and football causing many blows to the head in his teens and twenties. He was given medication for Alzheimer’s and depression and still suffering debilitating memory loss which left him forgetting what he was doing from one moment to the next.
LYME DISEASE MISTAKEN FOR ALZHEIMERS
Earlier this year a doctor decided to test the 80-year-old Kristofferson for Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. The test came back positive. As a result, he was taken off all of his other medication and given a three-week course of antibiotics. His wife says “All of a sudden he was back.” She does admit there are still some days that are a struggle, but most days she forgets he is fighting any illness what-so-ever.
Kris is back in such a big way that he has recently started recording a new album, played the lead in a new Western movie and performed at a celebration in his honor in Nashville in March. Throughout the Rolling Stones interview he does mention his continued struggle with memory loss, but for the people around him, the difference is clear.
While there is a great deal of controversy around chronic Lyme disease, its symptoms, and devastating effects, one thing is clear, those who are suffering need support. As the world becomes more aware of this tick-borne disease, how to avoid it and what the symptoms look like there is more likelihood that research will improve diagnostics and treatment. Hopefully, in time, others won’t have to suffer from misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.
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