Thursday, August 7, 2008
I have a group of patients who have developed Parkinsons disease after infection with Lyme. They have not improved with intensive anti-Lyme therapy. They have had only moderate responses to typical drugs used for Parkinsons disease. I recently saw one such patient and I remembered that Amantadine, an antiviral drug used for influenza was considered a mildly effective adjunct in the treatment of Parkinsons. I considered the fact that HHV6, the most neurotropic virus known, which infects virtually everyone, has been treated with Amantadine which inhibits viral replication, with some success.. I started this patient on Amantadine. The other drugs prescribed by both his neurlogist and me prior to Amantadine had been disappointing in their effectiveness. I was surprised to see this patient smiling in my office the other day, after a month of Amantadine. (Parkinsons causes a mask like loss of facial expression as one of its typical features.) He reported that his tremors and gait had improved. It was the first time his Parkinsons had improved after more than a year of Lyme and Parkinsons therapy. Literature also indicates that HHV6 has a causal role in MS. This may be an exciting development. So far its only one patient.