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National Capital Lyme Association

October 26th, 2014 ( 0 )

On October 21, 2014, I attended a public panel presentation and discussion about Lyme created by this organization. I learned some especially exciting news:  two researchers, Lance Liotta, Md, and his colleague Alessandra Luchini, Ph.D.,  gave a brief description of a potentially more effective test for Lyme being developed and currently tested at GMU. The clinical trials  involve 303 patients being tested for early stage disease with a “SMART” nanotechnology to detect the Bb antigen which is shed in urine only during an active infection. It was developed by the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine by the GMU nanotech team. This has been funded by NIH, and is expected to be much more sensitive than the serology testing currently in use to detect Lyme.

From the GMU website:

Smart NanoparticlesCAPMM scientists developed a novel nanoparticle-based technology to trap, concentrate and protect potential rare disease biomarkers directly from blood, urine and saliva samples, in one step.  The nanoparticles capture small proteins and biomarkers that are currently hidden by larger, more abundant molecules and are difficult to detect in the laboratory due to their low concentration.  The hydrogel nanoparticles concentrate the biomarker of interest, which can be eluted from the nanoparticle and measured using standard platforms such as mass spectrometry, ELISA, Reverse Phase Protein Microarrays and Western Blotting. This technology has been exclusively licensed to Ceres Nanosciences, Inc.Luchini A, Geho DH, Bishop B, Tran D, Xia C, Dufour RL, Jones CD, Espina V, Patanarut A, Zhou W, Ross MM, Tessitore A, Petricoin EF, Liotta LA. Smart hydrogel particles: biomarker harvesting: one-step affinity purification, size exclusion, and protection against degradation. Nano Lett 2008 Jan;8(1):350-361.From the National Capital Lyme Association website:

Their Mission Statement:

The National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association strives to improve the quality of life for people suffering from Lyme and other Tick-Borne illnesses by offering support and disseminating information that educates and empowers patients, families, healthcare workers, and the community at large about these diseases. We have set forth three strategic objectives.

1. Build Support

We are a network for sharing our personal trials and experiences. We participate with other tick-borne illness organizations through medical conferences and educational seminars.

2. Increase Awareness

We heighten public awareness about Tick-Borne diseases by hosting presentations by healthcare professionals. We work with local and state Health Departments in educating through public service programs and the distribution of printed materials. We gain media attention about tick borne illnesses through tv, radio and newspaper coverage.

3. Find A Cure

We build support for research by educating local, state, federal and international medical and political representatives. We work on both state and federal legislation for Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. We raise funds to support Lyme research.

About Us

The National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association is led by a member selected Board of Directors. We advance our goals through teamwork and collaboration with other patient and professional groups throughout the country. We seek to regain our health and conquer this disease. We are inclusive and seek participation from all those interested in working toward this goal.

NatCapLyme is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity under the Internal Revenue Code.

Virginia passes law pertaining to Lyme Disease testing

October 26th, 2014 ( 0 )

The Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act of 2013 -HB1933-  was signed into Virginia law in March 2013. The House and Senate passed this legislation with votes that “defied party and regional lines.” Over 8,200 messages were sent to Virginia Senators and Delegates in support of this legislation. This is the first law in the nation to require disclosure of the limitations of lyme disease testing.

This law requires health care providers to give written disclosure to people who are tested for lyme disease that current laboratory testing can produce false negatives, especially in the early stage of the disease.



What ARE Spirochetes?

October 26th, 2014 ( 0 )

Chapter One of Stephen Harrod Buhner’s excellent, information packed book Healing Lyme is entitled Borrelia Burgdorferi: a Potent Emerging Disease.  How much do you know about this life form that is causing so much havoc?

Here are some direct quotes from his book:

“Lyme disease is caused by a particular kind of bacterium-a spirochete. Spirochetes are some of the most ancient bacteria on Earth; they have been around billions of years longer than humans and they are very smart. The word spirochete literally means ‘coiled hair.’ And while this does describe their appearance to some extent, they actually look, more than anything else, like a tiny, very active, worm.

There are eight different genera or kinds of spirochetes…and over 200 different species in these eight genera have been identified so far, and there are likely more. The kind of spirochetes that cause Lyme disease belong to the genus Borrelia. The way Latin terminology works is that the first name- of a bacteria or plant, for instance- is the genus name, the second is the species name.

The organism that causes most of the Lyme disease in this country is called Borrelia burgdorferi…Sometimes for ease, this Latin terminology is abbreviated B. burgdorferi or even, in the case of Lyme disease, Bb. …There are three main Borrelia that are considered to be the cause of Lyme borreliosis: Borrelia burgdorferi, B, afzelii and B. garinii.

…B. burgdorferi is more common in the United States, the others more common in Europe and Asia but all (and many others besides) exist on all three continents and infections with more than one type of Lyme spirochete commonly occur. All of them are able to cause markedly different symptom pictures at different times in different people in different places. They are not limited to specific continents. All borrelia organisms are moving around the world with a great deal of freedom-airplanes are used by more life forms than just people…

…All the borrelia species are pathogenic, that is, they all cause disease. And while many spirochetes live wild in Nature, no borrelia species have been found to do so. They always seem to need a host species in which to live. Lyme spirochetes resemble nothing so much as a corkscrew-shaped worm, which is what they act like when they enter living tissues. They literally ‘screw’ or ‘worm’ their way through tissues to the sites they wish to colonize.

This kind of mobility allows them to colonize highly viscous mediums such as the collagenous tissues around the knees or the aqueous humor of the eye. Free-living spirochetes, the ones that do live apart in Nature, like to live in similar substances, usually thick mud. Non-spirochetal bacteria enjoy more liquid mediums; they cannot easily exist in the kinds of viscous environments that spirochetes prefer.


From:  Healing Lyme  Natural Prevention and Treatment of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Coinfections by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Raven Press, Silver City, NM. 2005.


Massage and Relief of Muscular Pain

January 24th, 2013 ( 0 )

“The Quebec Task force on Spinal Disorders (1987) reported that massage therapy may be the most frequently used therapy for musculoskeletal  disorders and makes particular reference to its usefulness in controlling pain. From the intuitive rubbing of a painful injury to the sophisticated application of massage therapy in the treatment of intractable chronic pain, the effectiveness of massage in pain control is widely recognized.

There are three principle ways in which massage may be expected to relieve pain:  It may act directly on the source of the pain to alleviate nociceptive stimulation; it may act centrally to alter the processing of nociceptive input; or it may affect the conduction of pain impulses in the peripheral nerves.”

A nociceptor is a peripheral nerve organ or mechanism for the reception and transmission of painful  or injurious stimuli. In other words, it is a detector and transmitter of pain impulses.

“Muscle pain can arise from sustained muscle contraction due to decreased blood flow produced by compression of blood vessels within the muscle. Thus the pain associated with sustained muscle contractions is ischemic pain, and can be part of a pain-contraction cycle.”

Ischemic refers to the condition of insufficient blood supply.

“According to Jacobs (1960), the therapeutic effect of massage therapy in such syndromes is concerned with breaking the pain-contraction cycle and thus eliminating the source of pain.

This can be accomplished via the improved circulation that results from mechanical pressure on venous and lymphatic channels, possibly assisted by release of vasodilators like histamine and by reflex dilation of vessels through stimulation of the cutaneous afferents mediating touch and pressure.

Relaxation of the contracted or spastic muscle may result from stimulation of proprioceptors in the muscle, tendon and fascia by stretching and compressive movements.”

Proprioceptors are structures found in muscles, tendons and fascia which detect muscle length and relative position in space and assist in maintaining equilibrium. They are important in informing the organism of excessive tension and other information, so adjustments can be made.

“It is also possible that the effectiveness of massage therapy in treating the trigger points that develop and produce referred pain following injury may also be partly explained in terms of interrupting the pain-contraction cycle.”

This information is taken from “A Physician’s Guide to Therapeutic Massage” by Dr. John Yates, Ph.D.

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