Latest Lyme Disease Research to be Presented Oct. 20-22 in Philadelphia

Media Advisory:
October 18, 2006

Contact: Vicky Jaffe, 617-937-2578,

Latest Lyme Disease Research to be Presented Oct. 20-22 in Philadelphia
Featured Presentations include Lyme Disease Link to Alzheimer’s

The recent frost unofficially ends the high-risk season for Lyme disease infection, but with warmer, wetter weather over the past year, and ticks continuing to be active over the winter, experts predict 2006 may surpass 2005 for the number of reported Lyme disease cases. In the United States, 23,305 Lyme disease cases were reported by the Centers for Disease Control in 2005, but only 10 percent of cases meeting the CDC criteria are actually reported. Therefore, about 233,050 U.S. cases that met the CDC criteria occurred in 2005. Other physician-diagnosed cases that do not meet the narrow CDC criteria are not counted anywhere. The continued toll of Lyme disease brings together hundreds of physicians, researchers, health care providers, advocates and patients looking for the latest information about the most common tick-borne disease in the world today.

The 7th Annual Lyme Disease Association (LDA) Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases Conference will be held on Friday, Oct. 20 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Center City, Philadelphia, jointly sponsored by the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons which offers physicians continuing medical education credits for the one day session.

Highlights of presentations include:
• Pathologist Alan B. MacDonald, MD, will present his findings at 3pm on Friday, Oct. 20 that Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, typically found in a spiral form) can take different shapes when it invades mammals, including cystic forms and granular forms that may be found inside of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease in the Hippocampus. Three abstracts of Dr. MacDonald’s were accepted at this year’s International Meeting of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association in Madrid, Spain and have been published in “Alzheimer’s and Dementia,” a publication of the Alzheimer’s Society. 

• On Friday at 8:15 am, keynoter David Ecker, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at the Ibis Division of Isis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, CA, will discuss universal biosensor detection of emerging infections, which has applications for Lyme, as well as other infectious diseases.

• On Friday at 10:40am, Dr. Jeffrey D. Rothstein of Johns Hopkins University will discuss the ability of antibiotics to stimulate Glutamate Transporter Expression and delay the loss of neurons and muscle strength in animal models with ALS. 

The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Scientific Session on tick-bore diseases will follow over the weekend.

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