Doctors and scientists discuss “Chronic Lyme” beliefs

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Experts around the world agree that chronic Lyme diagnosis and treatment is inappropriate. While there is substantial peer reviewed literature regarding the social phenomenon of “chronic Lyme disease,” there has been relatively little commentary accessible to the public.

Below are educational articles by doctors and scientists, presented for a lay audience. More commentaries are listed in our papers section.

We’ve also gathered stories from former quacks who became advocates for science.

Dr. Rachel Pearson, MD: The Challenge of ‘Chronic Lyme’

Dr. Lawrence Zemel, MD and Dr. Paul Auwaerter, MD: Treating ‘chronic Lyme disease:’ Is it medical fraud?

Dr. Edward McSweegan, PhD:

Dr. Peter Lipson, MD: 

Dr. Harriet Hall, MD: Does Everybody Have Chronic Lyme Disease? Does Anyone?

Panel of Yale professors: Discussion of the propaganda film Under Our Skin

Dr. Vincent Iannelli, MD:

Dr. Karen Ravin, MD: Debunking myths surrounding Lyme disease

Dr. Lori Handy, MD: Lyme Disease: Facts & Fiction

Dr. Henry M. Feder, MD: Long-Term Lyme Disease Unsubstantiated

Dr. David Scales, MD: 

Dr. Stephen Salzberg, PhD: Long-Term Antibiotic Use For Lyme Disease Doesn’t Work, Study Finds

Dr. Jonathan Howard, MD: Neurologist explains chronic Lyme false assumptions

Dr. Nikki Stamp and Pixie Turner: (Un)Well 05: Bee Stings: The Bees Knees? 🔊

Dr. Samantha Ahdoot, MD: Lyme Disease 101

Dr. Chad Hayes, MD: Citations Needed: The curious “science” of integrative medicine

Dr. Lucy McBride, MD: The health risks of supplements and alternative medicine

Dr. Lynora Saxinger, MD:

Dr. Lynora Saxinger, MD and Dr. Stan Houston, MD: Addressing ‘alternative facts’ about Lyme disease

Dr. J. Marc Girard, MD: An example of pseudoscience: Chronic Lyme disease

Dr. Susan O’Connell, Consultant Medical Microbiologist: Re: Lyme Wars

Dr. Steven Novella, MD:

Dr. Mark Crislip, MD: 

Dr. Sunil K. Sood, MD: Lyme disease often misdiagnosed, resulting in unnecessary antibiotics

Dr. Phil Baker, PhD:

Dr. David Gorski, MD:

Dr. John Snyder, MD: Lemons and Lyme: Bogus tests and dangerous treatments of the Lyme-literati

Anonymous infectious disease doctor in Australia: Letter about “Lyme-like illness” in Australia

Dr. Leonid Schneider, PhD: Christian Perronne and other Chronic Lymericks

Dr. Erin Welsh, PhD and Dr. Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD: This Podcast Will Kill You: Lyme Disease: I’d like to check you for ticks 🔊

Dr. Sydnee McElroy, MD: Sawbones Podcast: Lyme Disease 🔊

Dr. Albert Fuchs, MD: Prolonged antibiotics don’t help in Lyme Disease

Dr. Stephen Barrett, MD of Quackwatch:

Dr. Brad McKay, MBBS: Does Lyme disease exist in Australia? 

Dr. Martin J. Blaser, M.D.: Lyme disease treatment is source of contention

Dr. Sam Telford, Sc.D:

Dr. Sam Telford, ScD, Dr. Michael Jacobs, MD, Dr. Jim Butterick, MD, and Dr. Michael Loberg, PhD: Visiting physician’s statements about Lyme disease require correction

Dr. Daniel Summers, MD:

    Dr. Mark Borigini, MD: Don’t Get Ticked Off Over Chronic Lyme Disease

    Dr. Mark Drapkin, MD: Lawmakers overreach in casting themselves as infectious­ disease specialists

    Dr. Eugene D. Shapiro, MD and Dr. Gary P. Wormser, MD: The ‘Chronic Lyme Disease’ Label Isn’t Helpful

    Dr. Gary P. Wormser, M.D. and Dr. Raymond J. Dattwyler, MD: Myths and Reality of Lyme Disease

    Dr. Usha Nellore, MD: Lyme disease: Not the epidemic that MPT film claims

    Dr. Alex Carignan, MD, Dr. Karl Weiss, MD, Dr. François Boucher, MD, and Dr. Louis Valiquette, MD (French-Canadian): La maladie de Lyme: nouveau bastion de l’antiscience (Lyme disease: new bastion of antiscience)

    Dr. Robert Strang, MD: Nova Scotia’s health system has a handle on Lyme

    Dr. Bonnie Henry, MD and Dr. Muhammad Morshed, PhD: Lyme disease in British Columbia: Are we really missing an epidemic?

    Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, MD:  Long-term antibiotics not warranted for Lyme treatment

    Dr. Todd Gleeson, MD: Lyme Disease: Diagnosis and Management in Military Treatment Facilities (slides, talk transcript)

    Dr. Mark Hoofnagle, MD:

    Dr. Matan Shelomi, PhD, Professor of Medical Entomology: What are the typical long term symptoms of Lyme disease?

    Richard S. Bedlack Jr., MD, PhD: Podcast and paper debunking attempts to connect Lyme to ALS

    Dr. Jeremy Devine, MD: Bill C-442 and “Chronic Lyme Disease”: the parallels with “chronic brucellosis”

    Skeptical Raptor:

    Dr. Paul Auwaerter, MD: Videos on Lyme disease (see third video)

    Dr. Karmela K. Chan, MD: Commentary: a disturbing conversation

    Dr. David Robert Grimes, PhD: Fundraising appeals for the desperately ill are moving, but evidence is crucial

    Dr. Jonathan Howard, MD: Neurologist explains chronic Lyme false assumptions

    Erin Foeri, PharmD candidate: Caution advised in use of alternative medicines for chronic Lyme disease

    Aaron Hentoff, MPH student: White Tears: Chronic Lyme Disease

    Dr. Todd Murray, MD (son of Polly Murray and one of the first recognized Lyme patients): Comments on “Maybe it’s Lyme”

    Dr. Ric Arseneau, MD: Symptoms attributed to Chronic Lyme Disease

    Dr. William G. Wilkoff, MD: Ticked off

    Scott Gavura, pharmacist: Avoid prolonged antibiotics for “Chronic Lyme”

    Dr. Edzard Ernst: Lyme disease (imagined and real): an easy target for charlatans

    Michael Kruse, medical student and paramedic: Elizabeth May, Do More Scientific Research Before You Discuss Diseases

    Colin Blenis, RN, DNP student: No Easy Answers for Lyme Disease: Chronic Lyme is not a Real Diagnosis

    Dr. Alan Barbour: Let Scientists Do Their Jobs (New York Times Editorial)

    Dr. Lawrence Zemel, MD: Law Would Allow Risky Treatment For Lyme Disease

    Dr. Erin Welsh, PhD and Dr. Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD: Lyme Disease: I’d like to check you for ticks

    Dr. Omar Abu Saleh, MBBS: Help in the fight against Lyme disease

    Dr. Eric R. Brenner, MD: Long-term Therapy for Lyme Disease — or Not?

    Dr. Brandon Beaber, MD: Multiple sclerosis is not Lyme disease

    Dr. Leyla Sanai: The snake-oil salesmen who prey on schizophrenics

    Dr. Henrik Vogt (Norwegian):

    Dr. Mats Reimer (Swedish): Kronisk borrelia smittas via media (Chronic Lyme disease infects via the media)

    Prof. Dr. med. Heidelore Hofmann (German): „Antikörper sind kein Beweis für eine Borreliose“ (“Antibodies are not evidence of Lyme disease.”)

    Dr. Marc Gozlan (French): « Maladie de Lyme chronique » : le danger des traitements prolongés par antibiotiques (“Chronic Lyme Disease”: The Danger of Prolonged Antibiotic Therapy)

    Dr. Cédric Lemogne and Dr. Pascal Cathébras (French): Non, vous n’avez pas la maladie de Lyme! (No, you do not have Lyme disease!)

    Dr. Yves Hansmann (French): VIDEO. «La maladie de Lyme peut être handicapante si elle est traitée tardivement», explique le professeur Hansmann (“Lyme disease can be disabling if treated late,” says Professor Hansmann)

    Pr. Marc Gentilini (French): Le vrai scandale de la maladie de Lyme (The true scandal of Lyme disease)

    Dr. Jean-Claude Desenclos (French):  L’élaboration des recommandations de prise en charge de la maladie de Lyme : un nécessaire questionnement éthique (Development of management guidelines for the management of Lyme disease: an ethical dimension is needed)

    Pr. François Bricaire and Pr. Marc Gentilini (French): Halte aux fantasmes sur la maladie de Lyme! (English translation: Stop fantasies about Lyme disease!)

    Dr. Pierre Kieffer (French): Le point de vue d’un praticien (The point of view of a practitioner)

    Dr. Daniel Christmann (French): « Il n’y a aucune raison d’alimenter une angoisse autour de Lyme » (“There’s no reason to fuel any anxiety around Lyme.”)

    Dr. Arnica (French): Maladie de Lyme: on a surtout besoin d’y voir clair (Lyme disease: we especially need to see clearly)

    Dr. Pierre Tattevin, MD, PhD (French): Maladie de Lyme: attention au sur-diagnostic! (Lyme disease: beware of over-diagnosis!)

    Dr. Nicolas de Prost, Dr. Alice Raffetin, Dr. Sébastien Gallien, and Dr. Saskia Ingen-Housz-Oro (French): « Faux Lyme, vrai Lyell ! Quand le non-respect des recommandations HAS conduit une patiente en réanimation… » (“False Lyme, true Lyell! When non-compliance with French National Authority for Health recommendations leads a patient to intensive care… “)

    Dr. Preben Aavitsland, MD (Norway): En epidemi av borreliose? (An Epidemic of Borreliosis?)

    Dr. Luc Bonneux (Dutch): Lyme: Chronic lyme takes place in the magical world of quackery

    Dr. Jan Keppel Hesselink, MD, PhD and Dr. Lex Bouter, PhD (Dutch): ‘Science is also only an opinion’

    Dr. André Weel (Dutch)Een nieuw begin, ook voor lyme? (A new beginning, also for Lyme?)

    Dr. Cees Renckens (Dutch):

    Dr. Emile Keuter (Dutch):

    Dr. David Patrick, MD TV interview: Explaining the mysteries of Lyme disease 📺

    More chronic Lyme posts can be found at Science-Based Medicine

    List of resources from Norway

    Other relevant LymeScience posts

    Updated November 17, 2020