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Study looks at post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome

Some people in Texas who have suffered from Lyme disease might also have experienced later symptoms that included fatigue, joint pain and brain fog. Despite this, the existence of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome has remained in question since a test for it does not exist. Researchers at John Hopkins University have concluded that while test results may be the same for a healthy person and a person suffering from PTLDS, medical professionals can use self-reported symptoms to diagnose the condition.

The study examined 61 people who continued to suffer from symptoms after they were treated for Lyme disease in addition to 28 healthy people. Both groups had blood marker, neurological and other exams, and researchers found no difference in the test results. According to researchers, doctors should talk to patients who report symptoms that include headaches, numbness and tingling, and lower back pain when those patients show normal test results. If the patient has been treated for Lyme disease, it could be a case of PTLDS.

There is still not a reliable course of treatment for PTLDS. Antibiotics does not seem to help. Researchers say it may be possible to identify a blood marker that will indicate its presence.

Some conditions have nonspecific symptoms and no clear diagnostic test, and this makes diagnosis difficult. Multiple sclerosis is one example of this type of condition. While these diseases may take time to diagnose because a process of elimination may be necessary, medical professionals are still obligated to provide a reasonable standard of care to patients in the course of making a difficult diagnosis. If a patient is harmed because of a misdiagnosis as the result of negligence, it might be considered medical malpractice. People who think they have suffered from medical malpractice may want to consult an attorney about the situation.

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