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Could Your Child’s Seemingly Sudden Psychiatric or Neurological Issues Really Be Lyme Disease?

Dr. Shannon Delaney, director of child and adolescent research and evaluation at the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, says the sudden onset of neurological issues in children could be Lyme Disease, but too often it is misdiagnosed.

An effect of being infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme neuroborreliosis can cause any one of many psychiatric or neurological symptoms. When the infection goes untreated these symptoms can show up months or even years later. Examples include memory loss, irritability, facial palsy, extreme fatigue, and changes in behavior and learning ability.

However, these types of behaviors are often attributed to other psychological disorders and treatment to rid the body of the bacteria is never considered.

Children Have a High Risk for Lyme Disease

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease each year and the highest rate occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 10. They also say this number is on the rise. With timely antibiotic treatment, one can completely recover from Lyme neuroborreliosis. However so often, because Lyme mimics other diseases, it goes undiagnosed and untreated. When that is the case people, especially children, can go through years of unnecessary and costly therapy and psychological treatment for something that could be treated and cured with a short round of medicine.

According to Dr. Delaney, “Any child with acute onset neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as [obsessive-compulsive disorder], psychosis, restricted eating, sensory issues, urinary frequency, anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, or extreme fatigue” should be tested for exposure to Lyme. It is up to doctors to be aware of the risks. Lyme disease is on the rise and that fact cannot be ignored.

Don’t Be Afraid to Question Your Health Care Professionals

We can’t leave the wellbeing of our children in other people’s hands. With the knowledge that behavioral issues could be due to Lyme instead of psychological issues, if your doctor doesn’t suggest testing for it, you may need to push. Information about Lyme disease and its effects is comparatively new and not all doctors will immediately consider it to be part of the problem. But we know it could be. Don’t be afraid to ask. A correct diagnosis could save you tons of money and avoid years of agony for your child.

At Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, we consider it a huge part of our service to you to keep you informed. Especially when it includes information that can be detrimental to your child’s health. We stay aware of new developments so that we can pass them on to you. We also want to protect you from the pests that cause disease. Our tick control services are 100% satisfaction guaranteed to do that. Won’t you let us tell you more about how we can rid your yard of mosquitoes and ticks? Call us today.