Lakeland, FL – Watson Clinic neurologist Jeffrey A. Rumbaugh, MD, PhD has co-authored a study which sheds light on the effectiveness of antibiotics in the treatment of neurological effects resulting from Lyme disease.
Titled Antibiotics for the Neurological Complications of Lyme Disease, the study was recently published as an entry into the Cochrane Library of Reviews, a comprehensive database featuring the insights of medical specialists from around the world.
An infection normally caused by tick bites, Lyme disease is often treated successfully through prompt diagnosis and a regimen of antibiotics. For some, however, the disease can become chronic, and its effects can remain active for years, including those related to neurological dysfunctions such as facial weakness, nerve pain, and meningitis.
“There is a debate within the medical community over the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating the lingering neurological symptoms of Lyme disease,” Dr. Rumbaugh explains. “In order to reach some level of consensus on this issue, we examined the data from seven separate European studies involving 450 subjects and a multitude of antibiotic treatment options.”
The study results showed no advantages in prescribing one antibiotic over another, and no evidence that continued reliance on antibiotics following the initial stages of treatment are of benefit. In fact, in the absence of evidence for active infection, even in the setting of ongoing symptoms, it is clear that additional or prolonged courses of antibiotics carry significant risk of side effects and complications without providing additional sustained benefit beyond that obtained from the initial antibiotic course.
For additional details about the manner in which the study was conducted and the results it produced, visit http://www.cochrane.org/CD006978/NEUROMUSC_treatment-neurological-complications-lyme-disease.
A prominent figure in this field of study, Dr. Rumbaugh serves as a co-chair on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology for the committee that is currently updating the Lyme Disease Guidelines of the Infectious Disease Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American College of Rheumatology.
Dr. Rumbaugh received his medical degree from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, where he also earned his PhD in biochemistry. He conducted his internship in internal medicine at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, and performed his neurology residency and served as Chief Resident at John Hopkins Hospital. He served as the assistant professor of neurology in the neuroimmunology divisions of both John Hopkins and Emory University hospitals.
Dr. Rumbaugh’s areas of expertise include neuroimmunology, multiple sclerosis, neuro-infectious diseases, and the neurological complications from HIV infections and Lyme disease. He is a member of the American Neurological Association, the International Society of Neurovirology, and the American Academy of Neurology. He is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology.
Dr. Rumbaugh’s practice is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Clinic at 1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard in Lakeland. Appointments with Dr. Rumbaugh may be scheduled by calling 863-680-7300.
About Watson Clinic LLP: As one of the largest multispecialty medical clinics in the southeast, Watson Clinic provides comprehensive healthcare services to residents of Lakeland and surrounding communities. First established in 1941, Watson Clinic has grown to include over 220 board-certified physicians representing more than 40 medical and surgical specialties. The Clinic is proud to deliver quality healthcare to every generation from our Main Clinic location at 1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard in Lakeland, as well as at multiple convenient locations throughout Polk, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. More information is available at: www.WatsonClinic.com.
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