Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis (MS) can present with similar symptoms; it’s important to understand the differences between these diseases.
It’s important to do a comparison of Lyme disease vs. multiple sclerosis (MS) as the two do have much in common. At the same time, they both have their own unique differences that distinguish one from another.
Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a deer tick or black-legged tick, which transfer Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The longer a tick is attached to you, the higher your risk of developing Lyme disease is.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the myelin, a protective coating around the nerves and spinal cord. As myelin deteriorates, it damages the nerves and spinal cord, thus causing the MS symptoms.
Lyme disease may present itself like multiple sclerosis, but there are distinctive differences, which we will outline to help you decipher between the two.
Lyme disease and MS: Often confused
In order to get a definite diagnosis of either Lyme disease or multiple sclerosis, doctors will have to conduct several tests, including blood tests, to confirm diagnosis of either one. Symptoms alone may be quite confusing.
Although it is unlikely that a patient has both Lyme disease and MS, the possibility is still there. Lyme disease symptoms may appear like multiple sclerosis, causing confusion at first. It is only with an MRI scan and spinal tap that the doctors can confirm or deny a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.