Friday, December 21, 2012

Children with Lyme disease

Children with Lyme disease

Children who are infected with Lyme disease and go undiagnosed will miss out on vital development stages in their life. This will cause problems later in their lives the longer treatment is withheld from them in finding jobs, having a social life, fitting into society, etc.. According to the CDC, Lyme disease is most common among children aged 5-19 which is 3 times the average rate of the other age groups. [1] Children are harder to diagnose because they cannot express how they are feeling, and they do not look sick on the outside. Cognitive and memory problems can make them fail school, mental illnesses caused by Lyme may make them experience severe anxiety disorder that isolate them from other kids, as well as a host of other psychiatric symptoms that include depression, ADHD, psychosis, etc. [2]

Among the hardest group to diagnose and affected by Lyme disease are babies who are generally infected with Lyme disease through their mothers placenta. Hannah Coleman was infected as a baby with Lyme disease. Her whole life was a struggle for survival and healing, and in lectures she explains that she was on her deathbed at one point and paralyzed, but she never gives up and continues to fight this disease. 



Teenagers infected with Lyme will suffer from a similar situation. They will be isolated from other kids due to their symptoms, and will also have a high chance of not being diagnosed with Lyme disease, but because this age group is unique, many times they will be assumed that they are on drugs instead. They will have a sudden drop in grades, severe depression, have suicidal thoughts and even attempt suicide, and have personality changes. [3]

Not only will children and teens miss out on a vital development stage of their life because of Lyme disease, it has been proven that their symptoms are more severe than adults with severe cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. [4]

In order to effectively treat children with Lyme disease and correctly diagnose them, we need doctors like Dr. Charles Ray Jones who has successfully treated over 10,000 children with chronic Lyme disease.

Currently, the Connecticut Medical Examining Board (CMEB) is investigating Dr. Jones for technical violations in the way he diagnosed 3 children. One of the cases are explained: [5]

Case 1: Dr. Jones ordered tick-borne disease blood tests for two siblings he hadn’t physically examined, in advance of an appointment, based on a phone interview with the children’s grandmother. . .
"The CMEB conducted investigations on 43 doctors last year for substance abuse, sexual misconduct, mental illness, and negligence; not one of these physicians received a fine larger than $5,000"

Due to the Lyme controversy, doctors that treat chronic Lyme disease in the open are subject to this harrasment and insurance companies will continue to file complaints with medical boards such as the CMEB against Dr. Jones until he loses his license. He was fined in 2011 $10,000 and by 2012 his legal bill added up to $100,000 . Dr. Jones is asking for help financially. [6] If we lose a doctor like Dr. Jones, we also lose a doctor that is successfully treating thousands of children with Lyme disease that not many people can do, but at the same time, if Dr. Jones wins this case against the CMEB and insurance companies, it will make it harder to revoke doctors licenses who are treating chronic Lyme disease.
 

[1] http://www.lymedisease.org/resources/children.html
[2] http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=941:tick-borne-disease-in-children-and-adolescents-a-medical-illness-a-multidisciplinary-qcureq&catid=12:lyme-kids-a-schools&Itemid=147
[3] http://www.lymefight.info/files/LymeinChildrenandTeenagers.pdf
[4] http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=101544
[5] https://sites.google.com/site/drjoneskids/overview-summary
[6] https://sites.google.com/site/drjoneskids/overview-summary/update-winter-2012-13

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