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By LymeBlog Staff
January 1, 2006 11:02 am
A conference for medical professionals titled "Current Controversies in
Pediatric Lyme Disease" will be held for one day only, Saturday, January 28,
2006 at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL, USA. Registration is
complimentary and continuing medical education (CME) credits are offered for
the attendees but space is running out quickly.
One of the key speakers at the "Current Controversies in Pediatric Lyme
Disease" conference will be Dr. Brian Fallon, MD, associate Professor of
Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and
Surgeons and the director of the Columbia Lyme Research Program, at the New York
State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Fallon has published and lectured widely on
the neuropsychiatric effects of Lyme Disease.
According to the Columbia Lyme Research Program, one of the big problems with
Lyme disease is that the children may be mistakenly diagnosed as having
depression, irritability and oppositional behavior.
Many claim that misdiagnosis of Lyme disease is a big problem and can result in
improper treatment of the child. One such incident was presented in hearings
held in February 2004 by the FDA to review the use of antidepressants to treat
In those hearings a concerned parent, Lisa Van Syckel, told how her daughter,
Michelle, was placed on Paxil, a drug known to cause severe reactions in
children if applied inappropriately. Michelle had been diagnosed with
depression and anorexia nervosa when she actually had Lyme Disease.
"My daughter self-mutilated, became psychotic, became violent, attempted
suicide twice," Lisa told the panel.
Van Syckel said that her daughter had suffered greatly, "all because she was
misdiagnosed", and asked the panel to, "Please have respect for our children".
Dr. Charles Ray Jones, a noted pediatrician focusing on Lyme disease in
children, states that although Lyme disease is most commonly transmitted by the
bite of a tick it can also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn child (in
utero) and to young children through breast milk.
" These children, frequently floppy with poor muscle tone, are irritable and
ill early in their lives with frequent fevers, increased incidence of ear and
throat infections, pneumonia, joint and body pain."
"Lyme disease has a profound negative impact on a child's life, cognitive
function and ability to perform maximally in school."
Dr Jones says, "When Lyme disease is a possible diagnosis, the children should
be evaluated by a Lyme knowledgeable physician who will continue antibiotic
therapy until all Lyme symptoms resolve."
Another speaker at the "Current Controversies in Pediatric Lyme Disease"
conference will be Dr. Steven Phillips, MD. Dr. Phillips is a practicing
physician and is past president of the International Lyme and Associated
Diseases Society (ILADS), the only professional medical organization in the
world devoted exclusively to tick-borne illnesses. ILADS is dedicated to
providing a forum for health science professionals to share their wealth of
knowledge regarding the management of Lyme and associated diseases.
Dr. Phillips says that even though Lyme disease is caused by a complex
bacterial agent carried and spread by ticks, "The Lyme bacteria have the
ability to evade immune destruction, entrench themselves deep within tissues and
migrate throughout the body causing a multi-system illness that can be baffling
to many physicians." "The result is that one tiny tick bite can cause
innumerable symptoms running the gamut from muscle and joint pain to heart
disease to neurological and even psychiatric illness.", states Phillips.
Lyme patients may be misdiagnosed as having other serious diseases such as
lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and psychiatric disorders.
"The take-home message is", says Dr. Phillips, "Lyme disease may be hard to
diagnose and difficult, if not impossible, to fully eradicate if not caught
The "Current Controversies in Pediatric Lyme Disease" conference is mainly
focused on the medical professional and offers continuing medical education
(CME) credits for the attendees. Optional "Grand Rounds on Pediatric Lyme" is
scheduled for 12:30 - 1:30 pm Friday January 27. The main conference is being
held Saturday, January 28.
Registration is complimentary for medical professionals but space is limited.
To check to see if space is still available and to register you can email:
CME@... or FAX: 727-767-8601. For more information or to register by
phone call All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL (727) 898-7451.
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