Dr. Monica Embers
Tulane National Primate Center
Study (2020):"Microbial etiology of CNS disease in Lyme and Alzheimer's disease"
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Up to 15% of patients with Lyme disease develop neuroborreliosis affecting either the central nervous system (CNS) or peripheral nervous system. CNS symptoms can become chronic and debilitating. Careful study is needed, to determine whether the Lyme spirochete, B. burgdorferi, its remnants, or multiple microbes are in CNS tissues of patients. In addition, the potential contribution of pathogenic microbes to dementia-inducing disease is a subject of considerable importance. This study will use multiple, overlapping methods to identify pathogens in post-mortem brain tissue from patients with a history of neurologic Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and non-dementia controls. Various brain regions will be studied using both molecular detection and pathogen-specific staining. Pathology in the form of inflammatory lesions and AD plaques will be used as a road map for pathogen detection. This work may pave the way for new treatment strategies for both Lyme disease and AD.