Autism Symptoms Improve After Vector-Borne Antibiotic Treatments


The Frontiers in Psychiatry Journal (Offutt, A. & Breitschwerdt, E. B.) 08.18.2023, published “Case report: Substantial improvement of autism spectrum disorder in a child with learning disabilities in conjunction with treatment for poly-microbial vector borne infections.” The case article describes a boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and learning disabilities who showed improvement in his cognitive and neurobehavioral symptoms after receiving antimicrobial treatment for poly-microbial vector-borne infections.

The 14-year-old boy had a history of developmental delays and neuropsychiatric symptoms including learning disabilities, focus and concentration difficulties, oppositional and defiant behavior, antisocial behavior, and disordered moods. He was diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD, pediatric acute onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS), autism, and autoimmune encephalopathy. The boy’s mother noted that his symptoms would improve slightly after taking ibuprofen.

Lab tests showed exposure to vector-borne pathogens, including Bartonella henselae and Borrelia. He was treated with antimicrobial agents (antibiotics), which lead to improvement or elimination of his neuropsychiatric symptoms and significant improvement in academics, placement at grade level without additional accommodations.

The study suggests chronic infections like these might play a role in contributing to neuropsychiatric disorders and highlights the need to further investigate the links between vector-borne and neuropsychiatric illnesses. 

For more information:

Read the full article on the Frontiers of Psychiatry website here.

Read more about Lyme and Autism on the LDA website here.