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Is Gulf War Syndrome actually Lyme disease

  1. Feb 22, 2005 #1
    • Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(4):717-20.
      Is Gulf War Syndrome actually chronic Lyme disease?

      Owen DC.

      Department of Accident and Emergency, College of Medicine, University of
      Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff United Kingdom, Cardiff, UK.

      Symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome and chronic Lyme disease are very similar. Lyme disease is a condition which can be difficult to diagnose since one of the main features of the condition, the erythema migrans rash, may be absent or overlooked and serological testing for Lyme disease may be falsely negative. Symptoms of Lyme disease may not became apparent until years after exposure to the causative organism. Military personnel during training in the field are at risk of tick bites and it may be that those who developed Gulf War Syndrome entered the conflict with latent Lyme disease. There has been no systematic examination of Gulf War Syndrome sufferers for chronic Lyme disease and it is hypothesized that chronic Lyme disease has been overlooked as a cause of Gulf War Syndrome. To address this it is suggested that sufferers of Gulf War Syndrome or similar illnesses should be examined by physicians who have experience diagnosing and treating large numbers of patients with Lyme disease.

      PMID: 15694687
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2005 #2


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    There is a blood test to determine if antibodies are present to Lyme disease, which would definitively diagnose this disease, or quickly rule it out. While there can be occassional misdiagnoses, if they were testing enough veterans, it wouldn't miss most of them. Whether this has been examined systematically or not, how many individuals have had this diagnosis ruled out already? It would seem it would have been one of the most obvious tests run with Lyme disease being so common.

    Was this addressed in the article? I don't have access to that journal. I have requested some articles in the past and have found this particular journal tends to publish extremely speculative articles without direct evidence, even in preliminary form, and that ignore a good deal of evidence already available to the contrary. That's just to put into perspective why I'm skeptical that the explanation of the syndrome would be so simple and overlooked as Lyme disease.
  4. Feb 23, 2005 #3


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    the article is just speculation based on some evidence. I think the title of journal (Medical Hypothesis) should tip anyone as of the nature of the journal. Anyway, if you are going to submit an hypothesis to a journal, why don't you test it.

    As far as overlooking Lyme disease, the author seems to discredit most of the diagnostic test and say that reliable studies have been done. He also point out that several training group for the military are in Lyme-disease-thick prevalent area.
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