By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When people talk about Lyme disease they talk about issues like arthritis, but Lyme can do far more damage in other areas.

For instance, as Lyme disease progresses, it can attack the nervous system producing learning disabilities, mood swings, anxiety and depression, panic attacks, obsessive behavior, sudden rages and other psychiatric diagnoses.

The more we learn about this, the more we realize the complexity. For instance, a recent European study found that psychiatric in-patients are nearly twice as likely as the average population to test positive for Lyme, and the National Institutes of Health are currently sponsoring a major study of neuropsychiatric Lyme disease in an effort to illuminate specific changes in the brain.

The term to describe this is psychiatric Lyme disease.

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