The underdiagnosis of neuropsychiatric Lyme disease in children and adults

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1998 Sep;21(3):693-703, viii. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70032-0.


Lyme Disease has been called "The New Great Imitator," a replacement for that old "great imitator" neurosyphilis. This article reviews the numerous psychiatric and neurologic presentations found in adults and children. It then reviews the features of Lyme Disease, which makes it almost uniquely hard to diagnose, including the complexity and unreliability of serologic tests. Clinical examples follow that illustrate those presentations of this disease that mimic attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Blotting, Western / standards
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / pathogenicity
  • Child
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / diagnosis
  • Encephalomyelitis / microbiology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / standards
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis*
  • Lyme Disease / therapy
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Serologic Tests / standards