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About 1200 Suicides in the US Each Year Result from Lyme & Associated Diseases

Robert Bransfield, MD, DLFAPA, discusses direct methods that can be used to acquire statistics related to suicides that are a result of Lyme and associated diseases.

Robert Bransfield, MD, DLFAPA, private practice, Psychiatry, in Red Bank, New Jersey, discusses direct methods that can be used to acquire statistics related to suicides that are a result of Lyme and associated diseases.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

When we look for trying to acquire direct methods, there’s a quote by Yogi Berra, and Yogi Berra said, ‘I would never have seen it if I didn’t believe it.’ So, we never look for it when someone dies from suicide; we need to look for it when someone dies from suicide. Was there a history of Lyme disease? Are there physiological indications in the blood or brain tissue or in the body that would suggest the presence of tick-borne disease? Once we look for that, I think we would see a stronger correlation, but because we have never looked at that, we can’t say what the exact statistics are.

When you look at the ratios of how many people are suicidal, one way to calculate it is, how many cases of Lyme are there? How many cases become persistent with persistent symptoms? What percent of those people have suicidal thoughts? And then we look at what percent of people with suicidal thoughts actually commit suicide.

And so, when you figure out those statistics, even using the most conservative statistics, it works out that there are probably 1200 suicides per year in the United States as a result of Lyme and associated diseases, and that’s a very significant number of people. And it would be very good to prevent those suicides if we could in any way do that.