Research & Clinical Trials

The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness Research

The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness engages in collaborative, translational research that investigates therapeutic treatment options for tick borne illnesses, with an emphasis on Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS). 

Study 1: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for Cognitive Deficit, Fatigue and Pain in Patients with Persistent Symptoms Related to Borre

This study is designed to address the critical need of effective strategies to reduce symptom burden in individuals with Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) and to understand the cause of these symptoms. This pilot study specifically focuses on evaluating whether or not a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulator (tDCS, described below) intervention is helpful in reducing cognitive deficits of dysfunction in individuals with PTLDS. Additionally, the research aims to examine the effects of a tDCS intervention on pain and fatigue.

A tDCS is a device placed on a patient’s head, and has been used in the past to effectively treat migraines. It is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that involves the application of weak electrical currents to the brain. Similar noninvasive techniques have been tested for safety and tolerability, and tDCS was found to be the technique with the least amount of side effects. This research continues the effort to evaluate the potential benefits from tDCS as a treatment option for chronic conditions such as PTLDS.

Click here for more information and to register.

 

Study 2:Effect of Iyengar Yoga on Symptom Burden and Inflammation in Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome - A Pilot Study

This pilot study specifically focuses on evaluating the feasibility and efficacy of an Iyengar Yoga (IY) intervention for individuals with persistent fatigue and Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS). Additionally, the research aims to examine the effects of an IY intervention on musculoskeletal pain, memory and concentration difficulty, and the presence of inflammatory biomarkers such as cytokines.

Cytokines are small proteins in the body that participate in cell-cell signaling. Cytokines are secreted by the immune system and can trigger the release of even more cytokines. An increase of concentration in inflammatory cytokines can lead to an imbalance in the body, leading to inflammation. Cytokines will be measured in research subjects at the beginning and end of this study. The goal is to observe a decrease in the number of proinflammatory cytokines (ones that cause inflammation) and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines (ones that inhibit inflammation).

Iyengar yoga is a traditional form of Hatha yoga that focuses on poses and breathing techniques for individuals with specific medical problems and conditions. Some of these postures are believed to be effective at reducing fatigue among women with a history of breast cancer, and they have even been used to reduce inflammatory cytokines that are found in cancer survivors who are persistently fatigued. Key postures include passive inversions and passive backbends. In these passive postures the body’s shape is supported with props rather than the strength of the body, allowing participants to perform without stress or tension. The postures will be introduced slowly and gradually become more challenging over the course of the treatment. Breathing techniques will also be taught.

Click here for more information and to register.

 

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