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Conquering Lyme Disease

With more than 300,000 cases diagnosed each year, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States. However, doctors are deeply divided on how to diagnose and treat it, leading to the controversy known as the "Lyme Wars." Firmly entrenched camps have emerged, causing physicians, patient communities, and insurance companies to be pitted against one another in a struggle to define Lyme disease and its clinical challenges. Health-care providers may not be aware of Lyme's diverse manifestations or the limitations of diagnostic tests. Meanwhile, patients have, on the one hand, felt dismissed by their doctors and, on the other hand, frightened and confused by the conflicting opinions and dubious self-help information found online. In this authoritative book, the Columbia University Medical Center physicians Brian Fallon and Jennifer Sotsky explain that there is much cause for optimism. The past decade's advances in precision medicine and biotechnology are reshaping our understanding of Lyme disease and accelerating the discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat it, such that the great divide previously separating medical communities is now being bridged. Drawing on both extensive clinical experience and cutting-edge research, Fallon, Sotsky, and their colleagues present these paradigm-shifting breakthroughs. They clearly explain the immunologic, infectious, and neurologic basis of chronic symptoms and their cognitive and psychological impact, as well as current and emerging diagnostic tests, treatments, and prevention strategies. Written for the educated individual seeking to learn more, Conquering Lyme Diseasegives an up-to-the-minute overview of the science that is essential for both patients and practitioners. It argues forcefully that the expanding plague of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can be confronted successfully and may soon even be reversed.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface Basic Terminology 1. What Is Lyme Disease? 2. The Early History and Epidemiologic Surveillance 3. What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Lyme Disease? 4. What Do the Diagnostic Tests Tell Us? 5. The Great Divide and the Lyme Wars 6. Why Would Symptoms Persist After Antibiotic Treatment? 7. What Are the Treatments for Lyme Disease? 8. Other Tick-Borne Infections 9. What Other Non-infectious Diseases Cause Lyme-Like Symptoms? 10. Lyme Disease Prevention and Transmission 11. Suggestions to the Patient Seeking Evaluation or Treatment 12. The Experience of the Patient with Chronic Symptoms 13. Frequently Asked Questions 14. The Good News Emerging from Lyme Disease Research Generic (Brand) Drug Names Glossary of Terms References Index

About the Author

Brian A. Fallon is director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at the Columbia University Medical Center. Jennifer Sotsky is a physician with a specialty in narrative medicine. She is a resident at Columbia University Medical Center.


Lyme disease is a more complicated and nuanced illness than has been previously recognized. Fallon and Sotsky's experience with the neuropsychological manifestations of Lyme, combined with their insights into the current patient experience, make this book a significant addition to the literature. A well-organized, comprehensive treatment of Lyme disease and the associated issues that patients face. -- John Aucott, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Lyme Disease Research Center

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