HARDSCIENCEONLYME: Can Lyme Disease Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?

25th August 2011


The cork-screw shaped bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Borellia burgdorferi (Bb), are called spirochetes. Other types of spirochetes include those associated with syphilis and dental spirochetes. Chronic spirochetal infection can cause slowly progressive dementia, brain atrophy and amyloid deposition in late neurosyphilis. A new study by Dr. MiKlossy, reviewed all the data available in literature to determine the role that spirochetes, including Bb, play in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The results of Dr. MiKlossy’s review found a statistically significant association between spirochetes and AD. Spirochetes were observed in the brain in more than 90% of AD cases. Bb was detected in the brain in 25.3% of AD cases analyzed and was 13 times more frequent in AD compared to controls. Importantly, coinfection with several spirochetes occurs in AD. 

The analysis of reviewed data followed the principles of Koch and Hill necessary to establish causal relationship between illness and pathogens and found a probable relationship between spirochetes in the brain and AD. As suggested by Hill, once the probability of a causal relationship is established prompt action is needed. Support and attention should be given to this field of AD research. Spirochetal infection occurs years or decades before the manifestation of dementia. As adequate antibiotic and anti-inflammatory therapies are available, as in syphilis, one might prevent and eradicate dementia.

An abstract of the article is available here.  Miklossy J. Alzheimer’s disease – a neurospirochetosis. Analysis of the evidence following Koch’s and Hill’s criteria. J Neuroinflammation 2011;8(1):90.

The HARD SCIENCE ON LYME blog is written by Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, who is CALDA’s Chief Executive Officer. Contact her at lbjohnson@lymedisease.org.



8 thoughts on “HARDSCIENCEONLYME: Can Lyme Disease Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?

  1. More significant, a Lyme/STD/epidemic – studies indicate approx. over 50% of those w/ADD/ADHD/Autism Spectrum disorders test positive for teritary Lyme-Borrelia and related coinfections – a public health threat coverup for Big Pharma (psychotrophics) and Managed Health Care (pain and suffering) financial gain.


    • Of course it is possible. And even if tests are negative, appropriate antibiotic treatment (that can reach the brain infection) should be tried, because 44% of people with Lyme have false negative tests, which means 44% of sick people would go undiagnosed and untreated if this was being taken as the only way to know a person has Lyme. The only way to really know at this point is to try treating her and see if there is improvement. Even if it was not Lyme, it would PROBABLY be another type of spirochete infecting her brain, which no Lyme test would show! Not only the 25.3% with Lyme, but the other 64.7% of Alzheimer’s patients with other types of spirochetal brain infections can benefit from being treated. I hope you will believe she can be helped, and do something as urgently as if she had gangrene, TB or any other serious infection. Find a doctor, a LLMD or other enlightened and caring doc, and try. Odds are very, very highly in your favor that your wife has an infection that can be treated. If it is Lyme, she may improve very rapidly once treatment starts. It’s just SO nice not to have the toxic little nasties messing up your neurons! Even when you know it’s Lyme, if it’s in your brain, you feel like and function like you had Alzheimer’s, but can be so much better in a short time it’s nearly unbelievable! I know, I’ve been there!

  3. Hi Hope,Yes, actually prior to my srgreuy, I was managing life. Yes, I continued to have unexplained pain through out my body but NOTHING like what I experienced after srgreuy. Stress is a HUGE trigger for my symptoms too. For me, it was a blessing in disguise. If I wouldn’t have had srgreuy, things may not have spiraled out of control, therefore, I would have continued to accept my life the way it was. My symptoms were so severe after the srgreuy that I KNEW I had to research further into the chronic lyme issue and find a new doctor to treat me who was lyme literate and took me seriously.Wishing you the best of luck,~deb

  4. Pingback: Lyme disease – Not Straightforward Answers | Eye on the Ball

  5. Do Not Omit that before Dr.Judith Miklossy in 1993 there was Dr Alan MacDonald in 1986. We worked independently of each other . We both cultured borrelia from alzheimer brain tissue. We both found spirochetes of borrelia in Alzheimer brain tissue. We both found that the plaques of Alzheimer’s react with antiborrelia antibodies [polyconal MacD and Miklos, Monoclonal MacD, and Insitu DNa borrelia hybridization MacD. The GVB “peice” has been further connected linking Borrelia DNA in GVB to Alzheimer GVB damage areas MacD., and finally DNa amplification by PCR of whole brain alzheimer tissue has yielded borrelia specific DNa amplification MacD. MacD now believes that biofilms of borrelia are THE root cause of Alzheimer plaques.

  6. My mother who had lyme disease and was treated maybe 12 years ago started showing cognitive changes approx. 3 years ago. We thought we did the right thing by taking her to a neurologist and they have started along the treatment for alzheimers disease. Should we doing something more? Wondering if there is a MD down the cape who is studying this lyme vs. alzheimers connection

  7. I have watched to movie “Under our Skin” and it is a compelling case for sure. It would be interesting to read a study on the countries on earth with ZERO ticks and their instances of Alzheimers, and how those numbers compare with other parts of the world.

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