New Lyme disease test could help ID key complication
August 13, 1997
Web posted at: 8:34 p.m. EDT (0034 GMT)
ATLANTA (CNN) -- New Jersey researchers say they have found
an antibody that can establish within days of infection
whether Lyme disease has invaded the central nervous system.
The disease is ordinarily diagnosed by detecting antibodies
in the blood, but the most commonly used test is often
inaccurate, especially in the first stage of infection.
The new test is said to be capable of identifying evidence of
nervous system infection long before any symptoms appear. The
risk of neurological complications increases the longer the
disease goes untreated, but the new test shows that the
infection can spread to the nervous system early.
The test, which is not expected to become commercially
available for at least three years, could be used to help
identify those Lyme disease patients most likely to suffer
complications and target them for aggressive treatment.
Lyme disease is spread by a bite from an infected deer tick.
Those stricken may not become ill for weeks, and nervous
system symptoms -- headaches, dizziness, hearing problems,
tingling and trouble concentrating -- may not occur for weeks
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.