2023-08-25 10:28

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Lyme Disease Guideline From NICE Is Just A Step Forward

Leading Lyme disease charity, Lyme Disease Action (LDA), welcomed the guideline on diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, published by NICE this April, as a small step in the right direction.

The recommendations standardising on longer treatment duration are particularly welcome as they increase the chances of early diagnosed disease being adequately treated. The Guideline points out that the evidence on treatment and diagnosis is often poor or non-existent and this is highlighted by the several research recommendations. There is a long way to go before a truly evidence-based Guideline can be produced for Lyme disease.

Pic: Lyme Disease symptoms graphicAndrew Gold, a Trustee of the charity, said:

“LDA is also pleased that, at last, there is formal recognition of the uncertainties surrounding Lyme disease, identified by LDA five years ago, and the pressing need for more research.”

A notable omission is the lack of a recommendation for development of specialist clinics. Doctors are recommended to seek expert or specialist advice, but there are no experienced specialists in Lyme disease in the UK.

LDA Medical Director, Dr Sandra Pearson, said:

“Our medical help line is regularly contacted by Doctors seeking help to find experienced NHS specialists in the treatment of Lyme disease.  For this reason LDA has been pressing for the establishment of a network of Lyme disease clinics, where expertise can be developed, and to which GPs can refer.”

LDA is concerned that, without an experienced specialist clinic, some sick patients, especially those with complex or late diagnosed disease, will continue to seek out alternative methods of diagnosis and treatment, some of which may have little or no robust evidence behind them.

“Because Lyme disease is a multi-system disease the route to treatment of difficult cases is fractured, with patients bouncing from rheumatology to neurology to infectious diseases and so on.” says Andrew Gold. “We need to get specialists working as a team.”

For 15 years LDA has argued for research and science in fighting this debilitating disease. The charity will continue to do that because, despite the undoubted gains in Guideline, there is a lot more to do.

Source: LDA

Download the Guidelines issued by NICE from our E-Library Database in addition to other Lyme Disease information,posters and advice.

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