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Category: Lyme Disease
People who screen positive in Lyme disease blood tests may undergo a course of antibiotics for two to four weeks following diagnosis. Typically, this treatment will stop if symptoms do not resolve, as recommended by guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Neurology.
However, new research from Brown University suggests that the studies that informed these guidelines were flawed.
"The goal of the paper is to clarify what was actually found from these clinical trials and what could be said and what couldn't be said," said researcher Allison DeLong. "A lack of evidence should not be used to deny treatment when the studies have serious flaws."
DeLong and colleagues reviewed four previous studies on the impact of antibiotics among Lyme disease patients. They found several problems with these studies, including small sample sizes, unrealistically high expectations of differences between treated and non-treated individuals, and subjects tainted by the placebo effect.
Ultimately, the team concluded that antibiotics may still be beneficial, at least until scientists investigate the matter further.
In the meantime, people who wonder about whether they have an active infection may want to consider taking Lyme disease blood tests.
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