1991: Allen Steere says he is "convinced seronegative Lyme exists."
... and that this non-HLA linked outcome is "perilously close to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." In this report, Allen Steere states:
"Most of these patients have subtle encephalopathy affecting the central nervous system. They have memory difficulty, depression, or sleep disturbances but no seizures, myoclonus, or changes in the level of consciousness. They also have sensory symptoms, such as pain in the spine, accompanied by radicular pain in the limbs or trunk, and some have distal parethesias with intermittant tingling sensations in the hands and feet...These symptoms are perilously close to those that occur in fibromyalgia, with the chronic fatigue syndrome, or in stress-induced syndromes-conditions that are ever so much more common than tertiary Lyme disease.
"How then does one identify the patient with chronic neurologic abnormalities of Lyme disease?
"The patients in question have characteristic findings on laboratory evaluations as follows:almost all were sero-positive by ELISA, half of them had increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein, half had evidence of slight amounts of production of intrathecal antibody to the spirochete, and 70% had one or more of both abnormalities.
"In addition, more than 50% had abnormal EMGs indicating polyneuropathy affecting both proximal and distal nerve segments, and MRI brain scans showing areas of increased T2 signal intensity.
In other words, many of our patients had memory impairments on their psychological assessments, had abnormal CSF anaysis, frequently accompanies by EMG evidence of an axonal neuropathy."
"Now I would like to proceed to the issue of seronegative Lyme disease. I am convinced this entity exists."
~ Allen Steere, 1991