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Thursday, July 17, 2014

No, Autism Is Not Caused by Lyme Disease

From lbrb - Left Brain Right Brain

By Matt Carey
July 16, 2014

In what is one of the shortest abstracts I’ve seen, a group from NIH reports on Lack of Serum Antibodies Against Borrelia Burgdorferi in Children with Autism.

Straightforward experiment: test the blood from autistic kids, developmentally delayed kids and “healthy controls”. Check if the blood samples have antibodies for the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease.


Autistic kids have the same level of antibodies as do other kids. Below the threshold for Lyme Disease. There is no evidence for an association between Lyme Disease and autism.

Here’s the abstract:

"It has been proposed that Borrelia burgdorferi infection is present in ∼25% of children with autism spectrum disorders. In this study, antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi were assessed in autistic (n = 104), developmentally delayed (n = 24), and healthy control (n = 55) children. No seropositivity against Borrelia burgdorferi was detected in the children with and without autism. There was no evidence of an association between Lyme disease and autism."

I think the groups who believe in a link are small. But the idea persists, complete with treatments that at best are doing nothing, and at worst are causing harm.

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