The inflammatory reaction caused by chronic Borrelia spp. infection of the central nervous system has been suggested by Borrelia specialists to be the causal agent for a very broad spectrum of neurological disorders.

These include the amyloid deposition of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorders as well as diverse neuropsychiatric disorders.

Brain lesions observed by magnetic resonance imaging in patients with chronic lyme neuroborreliosis and multiple sclerosis display sufficient similarity to suggest a common autoimmune origin for both pathologies.

Phelix aims to explore this link between chronic infection and neurodegeneration looking at a broad range of pathogens.

The table below highlights the link between infections and neurodegenerative conditions:

Conditions Identified by SymptomsChronic Infections Commonly Observed
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Borrelia b., Chlamydia pneumoniae, HHV6 virus.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Chlamydia pneumonia, Borrelia b., HSV1 and other Herpes Viruses
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Chlamydia pneumonia, Mycoplasma species, Borrelia spp, HVV6 and other Herpes Viruses
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Helicobacter pylori, coronavirus, Mycoplasma Species, Borrelia spp.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Borrelia b, Borrelia g., Borrelia a., Rickettsia, Sutterella,Chlamydia pneumoniae, HHV6 virus.
NeuroBorreliosis & CFSMycoplasma pneumonia (and other species), Borrelia b., Borrelia g., Borrelia a, Chlamydia pneumonia, Bastonella

The association between TBD, Lyme borreliosis and autism

Chronic infectious diseases, including tick-borne infections such as Borrelia burgdorferi may have direct effects, promote other infections and create a weakened, sensitized and immunologically vulnerable state during fetal development and infancy leading to increased vulnerability for developing autism spectrum disorders. A dysfunctional synergism with other predisposing and contributing factors may contribute to autism spectrum disorders by provoking innate and adaptive immune reactions to cause and perpetuate effects in susceptible individuals that result in inflammation, molecular mimicry, kynurenine pathway changes, increased quinolinic acid and decreased serotonin, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and excitotoxicity that impair the development of the amygdala and other …


Chronically ill patients with neurodegenerative and neurobehavioural and psychiatric diseases commonly have systemic and central nervous system bacterial and viral infections. In addition, other chronic illnesses where neurological manifestations are routinely found, such as fatiguing and autoimmune diseases, Lyme disease and Gulf War illnesses, also show systemic bacterial and viral infections that could be important in disease inception, progression or increasing the types/severities of signs and symptoms. Evidence of Mycoplasma species, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia burgdorferi, human herpesvirus-1, -6 and -7 and other bacterial and viral infections revealed high infection rates in the above illnesses that were not found in controls.


Role of Chronic Bacterial and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative II


Effect of Proteins from borrelia on Myelinated Nerve Excitability

We studied the effect of spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato cell membrane proteins on excitability of myelinated nerve fiber. It was found that cell surface proteins of spirochetes B. burgdorferi s. s. bind to Ranvier nodes of the axon and to Schwann cells. Binding of B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. garinii to the nerve fiber modulates the amplitude and conduction velocity of the action potential, while B. afzelii had no effect on these parameters. The decrease in the spike amplitude and conduction velocity during sorption of B. burgdorferi s. s. or cell wall proteins was accompanied by desorption of membrane-bound calcium.


The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi induces inflammation and apoptosis in cells from dorsal root ganglia

Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB), caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, affects both the peripheral and the central nervous systems. Radiculitis or nerve root inflammation, which can cause pain, sensory loss, and weakness, is the most common manifestation of peripheral LNB in humans. We previously reported that rhesus monkeys infected with B. burgdorferi develop radiculitis as well as inflammation in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), with elevated levels of neuronal and satellite glial cell apoptosis in the DRG. We hypothesized that B. burgdorferi induces inflammatory mediators in glial and neuronal cells and that this inflammatory milieu precipitates glial and neuronal apoptosis.


Historic evidence to support a causal relationship between spirochetal infections and Alzheimer’s disease

Following previous observations a statistically significant association between various types of spirochetes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) fulfilled Hill’s criteria in favor of a causal relationship. If spirochetal infections can indeed cause AD, the pathological and biological hallmarks of AD should also occur in syphilitic dementia. To answer this question, observations and illustrations on the detection of spirochetes in the atrophic form of general paresis, which is known to be associated with slowly progressive dementia, were reviewed and compared with the characteristic pathology of AD. Historic observations and illustrations published in the first half of the 20th Century indeed confirm that the pathological hallmarks, which define AD, are also present in syphilitic dementia …