Sunday, July 8, 2012

Toxoplasmosis and Lyme

The Archives of General Psychiatry has published two studies from Denmark demonstrating the relationship between toxoplasmosis and suicide. Especially violent suicide. Toxoplasma parasities hide within neurons and glial (supporting brain cells) in cystic forms.

Toxoplasma are persistent brain parasites. The immune system is unable to eradicate them. No effective antimicrobial therapy is available. As with Lyme infection, the organisms manipulate the immune system and are associated with alterations in cytokine levels including interleukin 6. Toxoplasma infection and Lyme also impacts metabolic pathways which lead to the production of kynurenic acid and quinolinic acid from tryptophan.

Elevated quinolinic acid levels has been associated with neuroborreliosis in at least one frequently cited study. These neuro-active substances are associated with glutamic acid excito-toxicity.

Toxoplasma infection has been long associated with depression, schizophrenia, autism, congenital disorders and many other brain disorders.

Toxoplasma infection is common, infecting up to 1/3 of the world's population.

As the microbiome projects has shown. Microorganisms inhabit communities within special niches. Many bacteria commonly found in places as prosaic as the skin remain unknowns. It is clear our bodies are loaded with unknown "mystery bugs."

Perhaps the brain also frequently hosts communities of microbes: Toxoplasmosis, Lyme, other spirochetes. Of course, only those in the Lyme community think of Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella and other co-infections as frequent denizens of the human brain.

An unknown, perhaps endogenous, protozoan has been observed within human cells and the nervous system (unpublished) with genetic/morphological features borrowed from both Malaria and Toxoplasma. (We may all be born infected with this unknown parasite). This is all I can say regarding this topic at the present time). 

One investigator has suggested such organisms could even be symbiotic? mutalistic at times. This is certainly the case with many other microbial communities, natural flora. At times usually beneficial organisms, under the right opportunistic conditions can become troublesome.

Most Toxoplasma infected individuals have no symptoms or apparent ill effects. The same is likely true for most individuals harboring brain infection with many of the other microbes listed here.

Why or when infected individuals is unpredictable. Experience has shown that other infection, trauma or stress can provoke illness with Lyme. It does seem clear that mixes of co-infection increase the severity of Lyme syndromes including neuroborreliosis. One could postulate that at times Toxoplasmosis acts a co-infection.

Many patients with extensive, systemic Lyme seem to have immune dysfunction. Many have subtle decreases in varying IgG subclasses. This may turn out to be a key factor.

From a treatment perspective, anti-Babesia drugs are used for chronic forms of the disease. It should be noted that many anti-psychotic medications also have anti-parasitic properties.

The authors note that two other studies have shown the association of toxplasmosis with suicide, one in Maryland, my home state. Great.

9 comments:

Unknown said...

" Many have subtle decreases in varying IgG subclasses. This may turn out to be a key factor.".....

Could you perhaps expand on this thought? Before I was really 'diagnosed' in any real way--my IGG subclass levels were found to be low. The doctors then speculated that I had CFIDs or something similar. But I really didn't exhibit any of the symptoms for it. At the time, one round of IVIG was given, I didn't improve. The doctors who thought that then changed their minds about CFIDS.

Later, babesiosis was found and then the other typical things and I found myself in this chronic illness cycle.

But I still often wonder about the subclasses. I doubt it was a lifelong situation, because I had good health prior to lyme, babesiosis, etc.

I'd really like to hear further thoughts you might have.

Really appreciate the blog, and that you take the time to write it.

Unknown said...

(My comment looks like it was anonymous, not sure why. I'm Michael V)

Skeptical in Rockville said...

What comes first, chicken or the egg? a mild immunodeficiency, which makes the patient less resistance to infection, or impairment caused by lyme?

I also would like you to revisit the question of Dr. Stephen Fry. More doctors seem to be embracing his protozoa testing.

it is what is it said...

Can you send me more info about your practice? I am currently seeking a Lyme doc in this area.

Megan Vanessa said...

I need to see a lyme doctor, could you please send me your information. Thank you!

sr. said...

hello LymeMd, When you find that cipro for lyme/bartonella causes joint and muscle pain what do you use in its place?

LYMEMJ said...

"It should be noted that many anti-psychotic medications also have anti-parasitic properties." REALLY? HOW THESE WORK AS ANTIPARASITIC? And finally talking about Lyme as parasitic? I've been preaching this for so long...

Sarah Lamando said...

Hello,

My name is Sarah and I'm the blog administrator at ASliceofLyme.blogspot.com
I'm writing both as and Lyme advocate and patient. After having experienced years of living with Late Stage Lyme Disease, I've simply come to the realization that there needs to be a healing place for people like me to go to and heal - on ALL levels, with 24 hour care and an individualized comprehensive treatment plan incorporating all worlds of medicine, counseling for caretakers, as well as a positive healing environment.
I've recently found an organization whose vision of this residential healing center parallels mine, and have created an Indiegogo.com Campaign for them to help get them started as a non-profit organization.
I already wrote about it, in my last post on A Slice of Lyme, called "The Art of War: According To a Pisces", but was hoping you'd be willing to help us spread the word about this cause by either posting something about it yourself, or adding my own post about it as a "guest blogger" on your site.
We have 37 days to reach our goal, so please let me know if you can help us in anyway as soon as is convenient.
Thanks so much for your time and consideration!
Here's the link to the campaign: http://igg.me/p/161260?a=666784

All my best,
Sarah Lamando

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