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The BBC’s Jane O’Brien came down with Lyme disease after a camping trip. Read her story.

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Lyme Disease
Spring and summer bring outdoor fun, but also the risk of tick bites.
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Lyme Disease Studies at NIH

Do you have Lyme disease?

Warm weather brings outdoor fun, but also the risk of tick bites, which can cause Lyme disease. The Lyme disease rash is usually round or oval and gradually expands. It may be all red or have a bull’s-eye appearance. If untreated, the infection may spread to other parts of the body and cause other problems, including paralysis of the face (called facial palsy); severe headaches and neck stiffness because of meningitis; heart palpitations and dizziness because of changes in heartbeat; and intermittent bouts of arthritis, with joint pain and swelling, particularly involving the knees.

If you suspect that you have Lyme disease, you may be eligible to participate in one of the research studies currently underway at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The studies offer evaluation, therapy, and follow up to patients with Lyme disease in hopes of learning more about the infection.

What do the studies involve?

Study participants will have a medical history and physical examination and diagnostic evaluations, as appropriate to their individual conditions. Laboratory tests may include blood and urine tests, X-rays or other imaging studies, body fluid or tissue cultures, skin biopsies, and tests for allergic or immune responses.

Treatment will include only medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration and will be administered according to accepted dose schedules. All diagnostic tests and treatments will be done according to standard medical practice for Lyme disease. No experimental treatment will be offered.

Patients will be followed as needed for evaluation and treatment. More frequent visits may be required or less frequent visits may be allowed, depending on the individual's condition.

Where are the studies taking place?

The Lyme disease studies are being conducted at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center (Building 10) on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH campus is accessible by car and by public transportation.

How much does it cost to participate in a study?

There is no charge to participate. All study-related medical care, including clinic visits and procedures, are provided free of charge.

Will I receive payment?

No, you will not be compensated for your participation in the evaluation study. You may be compensated if you are eligible for our skin biopsy protocol.

How do I find out more or volunteer?

To learn more or to volunteer for a Lyme disease study, call 301-435-7244.

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Last Updated February 04, 2011

Last Reviewed April 08, 2010