Effect of prolonged antibiotic treatment on cognition in patients with Lyme borreliosis
Number of pages
SourceNeurology, 92, 13, (2019), pp. e1447-e1455
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether longer-term antibiotic treatment improves cognitive performance in patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme borreliosis. METHODS: Data were collected during the Persistent Lyme Empiric Antibiotic Study Europe (PLEASE) trial, a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Study participants passed performance-validity testing (measure for detecting suboptimal effort) and had persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme borreliosis. All patients received a 2-week open-label regimen of intravenous ceftriaxone before the 12-week blinded oral regimen (doxycycline, clarithromycin/hydroxychloroquine, or placebo). Cognitive performance was assessed at baseline and after 14, 26, and 40 weeks with neuropsychological tests covering the cognitive domains of episodic memory, attention/working memory, verbal fluency, speed of information processing, and executive function. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of patients enrolled (n = 239) were comparable in all treatment groups. After 14 weeks, performance on none of the cognitive domains differed significantly between the treatment arms (p = 0.49-0.82). At follow-up, no additional treatment effect (p = 0.35-0.98) or difference between groups (p = 0.37-0.93) was found at any time point. Patients performed significantly better in several cognitive domains at weeks 14, 26, and 40 compared to baseline, but this was not specific to a treatment group. CONCLUSIONS: A 2-week treatment with ceftriaxone followed by a 12-week regimen of doxycycline or clarithromycin/hydroxychloroquine did not lead to better cognitive performance compared to a 2-week regimen of ceftriaxone in patients with Lyme disease-attributed persistent symptoms. CLINICALTRIALSGOV IDENTIFIER: NCT01207739. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class II evidence that longer-term antibiotics in patients with borreliosis-attributed persistent symptoms does not increase cognitive performance compared to shorter-term antibiotics.
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