Immunologic Reactivity Against Borrelia Burgdorferi in Patients With Motor Neuron Disease

John Halperin, Gary P. Kaplan, Shari Brazinsky, T. F. Tsai, Teresa Cheng, Audrey Ironside, P. Priscilla, Joel Delfiner, Marc Golightly, Robert H. Brown, Raymond J. Dattwyler, Benjamin J. Luft

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Abstract

Of 19 unselected patients with the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) living in Suffolk County, New York (an area of high Lyme disease prevalence), 9 had serologic evidence of exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi; 4 of 38 matched controls were seropositive. Eight of 9 sero-positive patients were male (8 of 12 male patients vs 2 of 24 controls). Rates of seropositivity were lower among patients with ALS from nonendemic areas. All patients had typical ALS; none had typical Lyme disease. Cerebrospinal fluid was examined in 24 ALS patients—3 (all with severe bulbar involvement) appeared to have intrathecal synthesis of anti-B burgdorferi antibody. Following therapy with antibiotics, 3 patients with predominantly lower motor neuron abnormalities appeared to improve, 3 with severe bulbar dysfunction deteriorated rapidly, and all others appeared unaffected. There appears to be a statistically significant association between ALS and immunoreactivity to B burgdorferi, at least among men living in hyperendemic areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-594
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

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Motor Neuron Disease
Borrelia burgdorferi
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Lyme Disease
Motor Neurons
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Neuron
Reactivity
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Antibodies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Halperin, John ; Kaplan, Gary P. ; Brazinsky, Shari ; Tsai, T. F. ; Cheng, Teresa ; Ironside, Audrey ; Priscilla, P. ; Delfiner, Joel ; Golightly, Marc ; Brown, Robert H. ; Dattwyler, Raymond J. ; Luft, Benjamin J. / Immunologic Reactivity Against Borrelia Burgdorferi in Patients With Motor Neuron Disease. In: Archives of Neurology. 1990 ; Vol. 47, No. 5. pp. 586-594.
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Halperin, J, Kaplan, GP, Brazinsky, S, Tsai, TF, Cheng, T, Ironside, A, Priscilla, P, Delfiner, J, Golightly, M, Brown, RH, Dattwyler, RJ & Luft, BJ 1990, 'Immunologic Reactivity Against Borrelia Burgdorferi in Patients With Motor Neuron Disease', Archives of Neurology, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 586-594. https://doi.org/10.1001/archneur.1990.00530050110021

Immunologic Reactivity Against Borrelia Burgdorferi in Patients With Motor Neuron Disease. / Halperin, John; Kaplan, Gary P.; Brazinsky, Shari; Tsai, T. F.; Cheng, Teresa; Ironside, Audrey; Priscilla, P.; Delfiner, Joel; Golightly, Marc; Brown, Robert H.; Dattwyler, Raymond J.; Luft, Benjamin J.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 47, No. 5, 01.01.1990, p. 586-594.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Luft, Benjamin J.

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