Lyme Disease Association Announces National Academies Infection Associated Illnesses Including Lyme & COVID Workshop
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) is hosting a groundbreaking workshop “Toward a Common Research Agenda in Infection – Associated Chronic Illnesses: A Workshop to Examine Common, Overlapping Clinical and Biological Factors,” this workshop will take place on June 29 – 30, in Washington DC. Registrants are able to attend this workshop in-person or virtually, making the workshop accessible to all participants.
This workshop is an attempt to gain better insight on the overlooked and rapidly growing health problem of chronic illnesses that appear after people are exposed to infectious diseases. The aim is to bring together researchers from different long-haul diseases so they can collaborate on all aspects of commonality and overlapping issues to discuss possibilities for the many challenges that are faced in both diagnosing and treating these long haul diseases.
Many of the pathogen borne illnesses being recognized are long COVID, Myalgic encephalomyelitis & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), persistent Lyme disease or Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), and Multiple sclerosis (MS). It was predicted that up to 23 million patients would be living with long COVID by the beginning of 2022, up to 3.3 million are living with ME/CFS, approximately 2 million living with persistent Lyme or PTLDS, and more than 700,000 living with MS. These are a growing problem that need real solutions for patients.
Millions of people are suffering from chronic and debilitating illnesses and the collective impact overflows into broader societal impacts including lost work time and wages, a smaller full-time work force in the US. The burden of permanent disability creating familial and societal impacts are yet unassessed.
The various long-term/chronic illnesses share similarities in presentation which leads to common hypotheses of “pathogen or antigen persistence, immune response dysregulation, altered neurologic function, and altered microbiome composition and activity.” By bringing together leaders in each field of disease, common challenges may also be overcome in identifying biomarkers of these various diseases and developing accurate diagnostics and curative therapies to help these patients.
The workshop planning committee includes two leaders in Lyme research, Brian Fallon from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Lorraine Johnson, CEO of LymeDisease.org, MyLymeData.
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