2011 LDA Conference Course Description, Target Audience & Objectives

This course provides attendees with updates from leading researchers and clinicians from the United States and Europe regarding ixodes ticks and the pathogenesis, manifestations, and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. The first day will focus primarily on new research while the second day focuses on clinical diagnosis and treatment. Breakthroughs in the development of new diagnostic assays and vaccines and identification of distinctive aspects of the proteome of the CSF of patients with later stage Lyme will be described. Knowledge culled from animal models will be presented. The role of biofilms in the course of other infections and new research exploring their possible role in the persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi will be described. Mechanisms underling neuropsychiatric manifestations triggered by other infections will be explored, including novel findings regarding the role of NMDA-specific antibodies in neuropsychiatric disease. Models for chronic persistent Lyme symptoms will be described, including research suggesting new therapeutic approaches. The second day will include talks on chronic symptoms, eye manifestations of Lyme, autoimmune perspectives on Lyme arthritis, unusual presentations of ehrlichiosis in children, complementary medicine approaches, distinguishing epileptic from non-epileptic seizures, and finally a critical review of treatment strategies for Lyme disease.


The target population is physicians from all specialties, nurses, psychologists, scientists, public health workers. It is also open to the public, and Lyme disease educators generally attend. The geographic area being reached is nationwide. No special background is required for effective participation, although those whose practices contain a high proportion of Lyme disease patients and those whose research concentrates on Borrelia burgdorferi will receive the most benefit.


As a result of participation in this conference, attendees will be better able to diagnose tick-borne infections and understand the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Attendees will feel much better armed to educate and treat patients with tick-borne diseases. This will result in a greater openness to discussion with patients and colleagues about tick-borne illnesses. Healthcare providers will be better equipped to explain to patients the new developments in the area of how the immune system may be causing persistent symptoms. Specific educational objectives of the activity include the following:
~ To learn about the clinical manifestations and treatment of Lyme disease in the United States.
~ To learn about the clinical manifestations and treatment of other tick-borne diseases
~ To learn about recent breakthroughs in the development of new vaccines.
~ To learn about how protein arrays has helped in the development of new diagnostic assays.
~ To learn about mechanisms of virulence and persistence by the Lyme spirochete
~ To learn about the role of biofilms in microbial persistence.
~ To learn about the impact of CNS infections on neuropsychiatric disease.
~ To learn about the clinical, biologic, and epidemiologic evidence regarding persistent clinical symptoms