The word sclerosis means abnormal hardening of body tissues, especially of the nervous system. "Multiple" of course means "many". These words which define the symptoms of what we call Multiple sclerosis are very general and do not describe the cause of the disease. There is no diagnostic biological marker in multiple sclerosis(M.S.). In other words...anything or many things can cause the symptoms that are labeled as multiple sclerosis.
Our Lyme disease support group in Connecticut has had many members who at one time or another have been diagnosed with M.S. I almost said they were Misdiagnosed, however, because the word multiple sclerosis only describes the symptoms and not the cause, the word diagnosed can be used because these people did have multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Lyme disease can cause multiple sclerosis symptoms. Lyme patients also can have lesions in the brain. The problem in diagnosing Lyme (borrelia burdorferi...or Bb) is that the testing is very inaccurate. Bb is a pleomorphic organism which means it can change its form and hide from antibiotics, the immune system and current testing methods. It appears that Bb also creates biofilm which is a polymeric matrix that protects colonies of these microbes from antibiotics and possibly from being detected.
The National M.S. Society has not been very receptive to the efforts of Lyme patients/activists or to their suggestions concerning Lyme possibly being a major source of sclerotic symptoms. Because of the inaccuracy of Lyme testing it is extremely important to consider a trial of at least several months of antibiotics. The antibiotics need to be the right type for Lyme disease , a high enough dose and for a long enough period of time. Unfortunately one of the treatments for what they term M.S. are steroids. Steroids lower the immune function of the body and if an infection, especially Lyme, is causing your symptoms...then the steroids can encourage the progression of lyme disease.
I don't want to pick on any one corporation or charity but the medical system we are currently emeshed in, does not encourage cures. The medical system wants to keep us ill so that they can make millions on testing and symptomatic treatments. The more people with chronic degenerative diseases...which have no definitive testing, causes or cures...the more money the system makes. It does not pay for corporations or charities to find causes or cures. What charity do you know of that has found a cure for their disease? I think this should be the main question we need to be asking. If they found a cure for whatever disease, the workers for that specific charity would be out of a job.
I would advise anyone who has a chronic degenerative disease to look up their disease label along with lyme disease, mycoplasma, bartonella,babesiosis....etc. Then find a lyme literate doctor who knows what tests to use for these different tickborne coinfections and how to interpret them. If the tests come back negative, the doctor needs to know how to make a clinical diagnosis (based on symptoms and history of the patient) and....if needed.....put the patient on an adequate trial of the proper antibiotics, antimalarial drugs...etc... for a long enough period to be able to determine if the antibiotics are working. When an infection is ingrained in the body, it can take much longer than 1 month of antibiotics to see any progression. For 8 years I was told I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was untreated for my real infection (which was lyme and babesiosis) for this length of time and as a result I had fairly severe neurological Lyme disease and a coinfection. It took 4 months of high dose doxycycline and antimalarials to even begin to see a bit of improvement. As treatment progressed so did my condition. There were setbacks and flares but an overall upward curve.
Please visit the link below for excellent medical studies and articles that speak to the lyme/MS connection