Quick Answer: Can Lyme Disease Be Misdiagnosed As ALS?

What can mimic ALS?

A number of disorders may mimic ALS; examples include:Myasthenia gravis.Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.Lyme disease.Poliomyelitis and post-poliomyelitis.Heavy metal intoxication.Kennedy syndrome.Adult-onset Tay-Sachs disease.Hereditary spastic paraplegia.More items….

Does lymes disease cause muscle wasting?

In the weeks after infection, nerve pain, shortness of breath, numbness in the hands, short-term memory issues, joint pain, neck stiffness, and facial twitching or paralysis may occur. Lyme patients may also feel a pattern of muscle weakness that’s diagnostically similar to ALS.

Can nerve damage from Lyme disease be reversed?

Damaged nerves take time to recover, and patients may continue to remain symptomatic for weeks to a few months after antibiotic treatment. “You can have prolonged symptoms even if the bug is eradicated,” Weinstein said. “The nervous system, like some other systems, heals slowly.

What is the most accurate test for Lyme disease?

A blood test does not only detect Lyme disease; it is the most accurate and preferred test for diagnosing the disease. If a patient with Lyme disease shows signs that the central nervous system has been affected by the disease, western blot testing on the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can be performed.

What is usually the first sign of ALS?

The earliest signs of ALS usually include muscle weakness or stiffness (spasticity). ALS typically affects all muscles under voluntary control, and the person ultimately loses their strength and ability to eat, speak, grasp things, move and even breathe.

Can thyroid disease mimic ALS?

A thyroid function test can help in a search for evidence of other conditions with shared symptoms and to rule out ALS, which is not associated with impaired thyroid function. A poorly working thyroid can cause myopathy, or muscle disease, leading to the muscular weakness and cramps also experienced by ALS patients.

What can cause a false positive for Lyme disease?

Infection with other diseases, including some tickborne diseases, or some viral, bacterial, or autoimmune diseases, can result in false positive test results. Some tests give results for two types of antibody, IgM and IgG. Positive IgM results should be disregarded if the patient has been ill for more than 30 days.

How do you rule out ALS?

According to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, doctors assess a patient’s physical symptoms, along with taking simple blood and urine tests and a spinal tap. These two tests will allow doctors to see if the motor nerves are still working correctly or if they’ve degenerated.

What is Lyme disease misdiagnosed as?

Called the “great imitator,” Lyme disease can present a variety of symptoms that mimic a wide range of illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, insomnia, and autoimmune disorders such as RA and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Can a pinched nerve mimic ALS?

ALS Symptoms Symptoms usually do not develop until after age 50 but they can start in younger people. ALS symptoms usually start with painless weakness developing in a hand or foot and can be mistaken for more common problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a pinched nerve. The muscle weakness slowly gets worse.

What does a Lyme flare up feel like?

Additional symptoms that may occur with Lyme disease include: an initial rash that may appear as a bull’s eye. flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, body aches, and headache. joint pain.

What are neurological symptoms of Lyme disease?

What are the symptoms? Neurological complications most often occur in early disseminated Lyme disease, with numbness, pain, weakness, facial palsy/droop (paralysis of the facial muscles), visual disturbances, and meningitis symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, and severe headache.

Can an ALS diagnosis be wrong?

Yes, up to 40% of patients are initially told they have another disease, and then it turns out they have ALS. Many conditions can mimic ALS. This type of a diagnostic error is called a false-negative error of diagnosis.

What are the 3 stages of Lyme disease?

Although Lyme disease is commonly divided into three stages — early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated — symptoms can overlap. Some people will also present in a later stage of disease without having symptoms of earlier disease.

Where does ALS usually start?

ALS often starts in the hands, feet or limbs, and then spreads to other parts of your body. As the disease advances and nerve cells are destroyed, your muscles get weaker. This eventually affects chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing.