Robert Bransfield, MD, et al, Develop Clinical Assessment to Help Diagnose Late-Stage Neuropsychiatric Lyme

Robert, Bransfield, MD, is lead author on the just-published “A Clinical Diagnostic System for Late-Stage Neuropsychiatric Lyme Borreliosis Based upon an Analysis of 100 Patients” in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Healthcare.  

The published study identifies that many late-stage chronic Lyme disease clinical findings are neuropsychiatric and therefore a complete clinical assessment is critical in diagnosis, especially since the reliability of laboratory testing is controversial. The researchers examined the clinical findings of one hundred Lyme disease patients to identify symptom pattern recognition which, they found, is a critical marker in diagnosing Lyme disease, particularly in its later stages. Findings from the analysis were used to develop three clinical assessment forms to be used in diagnosis.

The assessments can be used in evaluating patients who may have neuropsychiatric symptoms and Lyme disease is suspected. This procedure offers an individualized diagnostic approach to Lyme disease, since symptoms vary greatly from patient to patient, as well as change over the course of the illness, making diagnosis difficult. The researchers stress that the CDC’s surveillance definition, which is what many doctors have been relying upon, was never been intended to be a sole diagnostic criterion, particularly in late-stage disease.

Dr. Bransfield, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School,  is a psychiatrist in private practice in New Jersey and a member of the Lyme Disease Association, Inc (LDA) Scientific & Professional Advisory Board. 

Find the assessment tools and read the entire peer-reviewed article on the Healthcare website