Autism in the Lyme Light: A Literature Review By Kerri Elizabeth Beisner, M.Ed.

Introduction

This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Kerri Elizabeth Beisner, M.Ed., and focuses on autism and lyme disease. Lyme disease is often overlooked and perceived as a small infection transmitted by a tick.  Usually accompanied by flu like symptoms or achy joints, many doctors believe all the bacteria transmitted during attachment will be killed with a few weeks of antibiotics.  There is much discrepancy over the idea of Lyme disease persisting within the human body for more than a few weeks, but increasing research is discovering that if left untreated, Lyme disease can wreak havoc on the human body and has even been the cause of death.  Over the course of the past 20 years, Lyme disease has been spreading at epic proportions and is now linked to and associated with conditions such as CFS, ME, Alzheimer’s Disease, MS, and Autism.  The lack of agreement within the medical community on Lyme disease is ultimately leaving hundreds of thousands of patients seeking help for an ailment or symptoms that are increasingly more difficult to treat and understand.  With multiple presentations and a lack of consistency in symptoms amongst various individuals, research is now supporting the notion that Lyme disease can potentially be the cause of many conditions, some of which includes Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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