Background: In view of the increased prevalence of Lyme disease and the increased attention given to the disease in the media, psychiatrists are more likely to be confronted with patients with psychiatric disorders that may be linked to Lyme disease.
Aim: To present an overview of some diagnostic problems and psychiatric disorders that can occur in the context of Lyme disease.
Method: The literature was reviewed systematically with the help of Medline and Embase for the period 1990-October 2010 and relevant articles were studied that were mentioned in the reference lists of the articles selected.
Results: The most frequently discussed psychiatric disorders associated with Lyme disease are depressive and psychotic disorders and cognitive impairment with memory and concentration disorders. Medically unexplained symptoms can be attributed to hitherto unrecognised Lyme disease. The fear of contracting Lyme disease can in itself lead to psychiatric decompensation.
Conclusion: Further investigations into borrelia-infection are indicated in case of atypical psychiatric disorders and/or an atypical response to treatment and when the anamnesis and/or physical examination are suggestive of Lyme disease.