Lifetime Lyme Disease Center Recruits Adults RI to Learn About Ongoing Symptoms

PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – If you have a suspected or recently confirmed case of Lyme disease, Rhode Island researchers are hoping you will consider participating in a new international clinical research study.

the Lyme Disease Center at Miriam Hospital is currently recruiting adults in hopes of helping them learn more about the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). affected more than 500 Rhode Islanders in 2019.

Dr Jennie Johnson, an infectious disease specialist who runs the center, says he is recruiting patients into a Lyme disease trial in hopes of finding better diagnoses and testing the disease.

The Lifespan Lyme Disease Center is a multidisciplinary center entirely dedicated to the treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

“We actually have a lot of experience with post-infectious syndromes, particularly in Rhode Island, Lyme disease and Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) that we see in people, ”Johnson said.

Johnson says people with PTLDS have had their infection treated and cured, but still have lingering symptoms, including fatigue, exercise, intolerance, or difficulty thinking that lasts for more than six months after the treatment. end of treatment.

“Right now, the vast majority of our Lyme disease tests tell us only that people have had Lyme disease or have been exposed to the bacteria and have made antibodies,” Johnson said.

“It can be difficult if people get Lyme again, and that doesn’t really tell us either, if people when people have had Lyme disease, you treat them, if they’ve cleared the infection completely or no, “Johnson continued.

Johnson says the center is currently looking for anyone with acute and active Lyme disease.

“So they’ve had it for the last few weeks, either in the form of a rash or a sagging face that we see called Bell’s Palsy,” Johnson said.

In the long term, the disease can also impact the joints, heart and nervous system.

Johnson says only a handful of people have signed up so far, with the study’s difficulty being that researchers need to find people within an “ideal window” of infection.

“They must have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, have a clinical syndrome consistent with Lyme disease, and then get them in before they’ve had more than two days of antibiotics, which is a very narrow window. Johnson said.

“The problem is, if they’ve been diagnosed and have taken more antibiotics than that, it actually interferes with some of the tests we’re trying to do in terms of developing antibodies and detecting bacteria in their bodies.” , she continued. .

In addition, participants must be 18 years of age or older and not have been vaccinated against Lyme disease to be considered.

Johnson says that depending on the recruiting, the clinical research trial will likely recruit patients through October.

The Miriam Hospital clinic is one of two New England sites participating in the international study, which includes sites in the United States, Canada and Europe.

For more information or questions regarding the Lyme study, you are welcome to call (401) 793-4317 or email [email protected]

The center is also currently conducting a Phase 2 vaccine trial against Lyme disease involving adolescents.

According to the CDC, 95% of Lyme disease cases were reported in 14 states in 2015: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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