As we approach Thanksgiving, many of us pause to reflect on why we are thankful.
Without a doubt, the challenges with Lyme remain—better diagnostics and improved treatments are still sorely needed. But there are some things we and others in the Lyme community can be grateful for this year:
More Celebrities Speak Out
Many celebrities are opening up about their struggles with Lyme disease, such as supermodel Delilah Belle Hamlin, The Bachelor's Kelley Flanagan, Broadway Star Ashley Loren, and Shania Twain in her latest Netflix documentary.
New Medical Codes
"The World Health Organization (WHO) has added 15 new medical diagnostic codes for Lyme disease, which replaced four older codes and officially went into effect on January 1, 2022. Over time, these codes will provide patients with more avenues for medical insurance reimbursement and enable researchers to better track and analyze Lyme disease complications, treatments, and outcomes." (Lymedisease.org)
Increased Research Interest
GLA received 30 letters of intent (LOI) across 18 states and 16 LOIs across ten countries for 2022-2023 research funding. This year’s applications are from researchers at top-tier universities in the United States, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Greece, the UK, and more. While their areas of research are diverse, it’s clear that the tick-borne disease research community is zeroing in on unraveling the complexity of Lyme disease.
Hope recently spread through the Lyme disease community with a breakthrough discovery that the antibiotic hygromycin A may prevent cases of post-treatment and chronic Lyme disease. Funded by Global Lyme Alliance, scientist Dr. Kim Lewis of Northeastern University discovered that hygromycin A—which has been around since 1953 but until now has shown little clinical utility—selectively kills Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial spirochete that causes Lyme disease. Dr. Lewis published his study in the prestigious scientific journal Cell.
Antibiotics currently used to treat Lyme disease are broad-spectrum antibiotics. This means that in addition to killing spirochetes, these medications can also kill “good” bacteria in the microbiome of our digestive, reproductive, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Damage to the microbiome can weaken the immune system. Hygromycin A is different because it selectively kills Borrelia burgdorferi without harming the “good bacteria” of the microbiome. GLA is proud to partner with Dr. Lewis and Flightpath Biosciences to bring this drug to market by 2028.
Increased Media Coverage of Lyme
GLA's Global Gala recently made a splash in the news. Our 2022 Global Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street was mentioned internationally in nine countries and the press release was picked up on over 315 different websites. We received amazing press on major websites including Forbes, US Weekly, and People. On Instagram, influencers with followings totaling 5 million posted about the event. And our awareness ambassador, The Bachelor Franchise's Kelley Flanagan, was the subject of our PSA ad that ran in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Allure, Wired, Bon Appétit, and Golf Digest in subscriber copies all over the US.
Most of All
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving.
The above material is provided for information purposes only. The material (a) is not nor should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor (b) does it necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. or any of its directors, officers, advisors or volunteers. Advice on the testing, treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.
Admin at GLA