–Dr. Robert C. Bransfield
As with any evolving complex medical problem (i.e. AIDS, Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s), informed differences of opinion as to cause and effect, leads to differences in basic therapeutic approaches, so too with CSLD. There is significant disagreement, and unfortunately polarized controversy among physicians concerning the diagnosis and treatment of this elusive illness.
Many physicians have aligned themselves with one of two groups: Lyme Group A (those who typically feel the disease is over diagnosed and over treated), or Lyme Group B (those who consider Lyme to be under diagnosed and under treated).
There is strong advocacy for both positions. However, statistical evidence should not be overlooked. The disease is growing at an alarming rate based on CDC statistics. The CDC admits that approximately only 10% of Lyme Disease cases are reported if the strict criteria for reporting are observed.
Physicians included in Lyme Group B category include Dr. Raxlen and other board members of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). These specialists from many disciplines (including infectious diseases, neurology, internal medicine, and neuropsychiatry) find it necessary to intervene with longer and more aggressive courses of antibiotics as opposed to a more standard conservative approach.
This division evokes harsh criticism among Lyme Group A, who are rightly concerned about inappropriate long term use of antibiotics and bacteriological resistance. Furthermore, the insurance industry unfortunately tends to compound the difficulty by limiting long term treatment programs for the patient.
Dr. Raxlen’s Lyme practice is dedicated to following the patient throughout the inevitable “ups and downs” of their treatment odyssey. Persistence and patience are the watchwords of his concerned and caring staff as they follow the patient through the treatment process.