BENEFITING: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Call for support: Funding is critically needed to enable research at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (SRH) to study the effects of a cutting edge brain stimulation device to help improve nutrition and healing of the brain tissue in patients with fatigue, pain and cognitive defects related to brain injury from Lyme Disease. Even though we do not yet know all of the reasons for the brain injury – the researchers stipulate it can include ongoing inflammation, autoimmunity and/or persistent infection. In all of these cases, the brain is injured, and requires a tool that will help in its recovery and used as either a stand alone treatment or in combination with other therapies.
The Story: Each year, the CDC estimates 300,000 people are infected with Lyme Disease in the United States. Recent research illuminates that over 30% of the people who were diagnosed and received early treatment for Lyme Disease will still go on to develop chronic symptoms that will cause disability. The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness Treatment, Rehabilitation and Recovery opened its doors in 2015 at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, MA. The Dean Center is the first of its kind. The goal of the Dean Center is to engage in cutting-edge research studies to help improve the quality of life in Lyme disease patients and restore their health by discovering novel approaches to treatment and rehabilitation.
The Study: This study is designed to address the critical need of effective strategies to reduce symptom burden in individuals suffering from chronic symptoms following an infection with Lyme Disease. This pilot study specifically focuses on evaluating whether or not a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS, described below) intervention is helpful in reducing cognitive deficits, such as memory loss, thinking ability, depression, as well as fatigue and pain - in individuals with chronic symptoms following Lyme Disease infection.
The Technique: A tDCS is a device placed on a patient’s head, and has been used in the past to effectively treat migraines. It is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that involves the application of weak electrical currents to the brain. Similar noninvasive techniques have been tested for safety and tolerability, and tDCS was found to be well tolerated. This research continues the effort to evaluate the potential benefits from tDCS as a treatment option for chronic conditions such as the disabling symptoms related to Lyme Disease.
Pathogenesis of Neuroborreliosis and Injury to the Nervous System
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Neurorecovery
Why Can Lyme Be Chronic – Columbia University Medical Center