Alerting Rheumatologists: Common Neurologic Lyme Symptoms

Pathogens (Govil, S., et al.) published 4.9.23, “Common Neurologic Image of a female patient having a discussion with a female doctorFeatures of Lyme Disease That May Present to a Rheumatologist.” The objective of the paper is to alert rheumatologists, especially those in the United States, of distinctive neurologic Lyme disease symptoms which would necessitate a referral to a neurologist familiar with the disease.

Patients who may have Lyme disease often seek out or are referred to rheumatologists because of joint pain. Second to skin, neurologic symptoms of Lyme are among the most common manifestations of the disease. Subsequently, it is necessary for rheumatologists to be cognizant of indications signaling neurologic Lyme disease followed by the facilitation of prompt care from a neurologist skilled in the treatment of Lyme disease.

The paper outlines common neurologic symptoms of early disseminated Lyme disease such as focal weakness due to a cranial nerve VII palsy, aseptic meningitis syndrome, and acute painful radiculoneuritis.

The authors assert that rheumatologists are in an advantageous position when it comes to evaluating patients, particularly those who may have been missed at the early stage of Lyme disease and are exhibiting rheumatologic and/or neurologic symptoms. Awareness of the neurological symptoms of Lyme disease has the potential to increase favorable patient outcomes.

For more information:

Read the paper in Pathogens.

Read more about signs of Lyme including neurological symptoms.