Lyme Press Release

TLCJoin us for a memorable evening that will raise funds to benefit research and education for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. The evening will feature cuisine by several of New York City’s finest restaurants, a variety of spirits, exciting live and silent auctions and an elaborate sweepstakes.

HONORING DANIEL CAMERON, MD,  MPH 2009 Humanitarian Award

ANN F CORSON, MD 2009 Physicians Training Program Impact Award

PETER HILF 2009 Vision of Hope Award

Peter Alexander, NBC News Correspondent Emcee

Thursday, November 5, 2009 6:00PM – 10:00PM

The Edison Ballroom 240 West 47th Street New York City

Advance ticket: $200 (by November 3, 2009) Ticket at the door: $250 (if available) VIP Ticket: $350 (includes name listing in the event program and invitation to private VIP reception) Business Attire For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Arienne Orozco at

TURN THE CORNER FOUNDATION 2009 COURAGE AWARDS Lyme disease masquerades many different chronic illnesses. Thousands of people are misdiagnosed with arthritis, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease. Turn the Corner is proud to present the 2009 Turn the Corner Courage Awards to several individuals who have bravely fought against this devastating disease:

Thomas Balsamo, Monica S. Bolesta, PhD, Doug Fearn Toren, Gordon Kutnick, Richard E. LaMotta, Judy Landis Setting, Gail Sheffer, Gail Urbach

Executive Board Staci Grodin President Charles P. Balducci Vice President Stephanie W. Spar Vice President of Program Development Richard Grodin Treasurer Alyssa Sokoloff Secretary Board Anthony Addison Michael P. Beach Faythe Goldman Matt Jacobs Nan Kurzman Danny Lirtzman Lisa Gitnik Maloul Lorrie Nadel Edward G. O’Connell Daniel Pine Stephen Soleymani Advisory Board Kenny Dichter Nancy Fitzsimmons Damon Giglio Jesse Itzler Eric S. Kratz Brooke Landau Leo J. Shea III , Ph.D. Gary Sommers

Medical Advisory Board Gregory Paul Bach, DO, FAAIM Sabra M. Bellowin, MD Kenneth A. Bock, MD Stephen J. Bock, MD Joseph J. Burrascano JR., MD Robert C. Bransfield, MD, FAPA Daniel Cameron, MD, MPH Ingeborg S. Dziedzic, MD Andrea Gaito, MD Nick S. Harris, Ph.D., ABMCI Richard Horowitz, MD Joseph G. Jemsek, MD, FACP Charles Ray Jones, MD Alan B. MacDonald, MD Jeffrey A. Morrison, MD, CNS Stephen E. Phillips, MD Bernard D. Raxlen, MD Virginia T. Sherr, MD Gerald T. Simons, PA-C Harold A. Smith, MD

Gala Committee Faythe Goldman Chairperson Virginia Anez Cathy Balsamo Lauren Borish Janet Brand Cameron Buzzeo Ali & Michael Cammeyer Dolores Claesson Ann Patricia Coleman Cesar Diaz Dana L. Evans Sari & Steve Feinberg Laura Field Alexander Field Mara Heppen Merrilee Hesterfer-Diaz Allie Hill Carolyn Joseph Nicole Kalish Katherine Kane Heather Levine Myriam Munoz Daniel Paris Jeana Payne Barbara Perry Staton Rabin Sharon Richter, MS, RD, CDN Chad Rose Melissa Roth Kathy Rucker Barbara Shelton Alexandra Spar Renee Vallone Alexis Weber

WEBWIRE – Monday, October 26, 2009
Contact Information
Monique Dubos
Event manager
Minnesota Lyme Action Support Group

Minnesota Film Arts is proud to present the Lyme disease documentary “Under Our Skin,” co-sponsored by the Minnesota Lyme Action Support Group. Show days and times are: November 8, 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm, and November 9 and 10, 7:30 p.m., at the Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak St in Minneapolis. The Event is Part of an Effort to Pass Legislation to Allow Patients to Choose Long-term Lyme Disease Antibiotic Therapy

The screenings are part of an effort to raise awareness and help pass Minnesota Senate bill SF1631, which will allow patients with Lyme disease other tick-borne diseases and their doctors– not insurance companies – to decide what treatment protocol to follow.

Jordan Fisher Smith, who tells his own harrowing story in the film, will emcee the Nov 8 and 9 showings. State legislators Ray Vandeveer and John Ward will talk briefly about the legislation before the shows on Nov 8. Dr. Elizabeth Maloney, MLASG medical consultant, will be on hand for questions after all screenings. Jordan Fisher Smith and Dr. Maloney will be available to media 45 minutes before show times, or by appointment.

Lyme disease is a complex disease with complicated issues surrounding it. Here are some of the basics:

* Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States. Minnesota ranks 8th, with 1,282 cases reported in 2008.
* The CDC estimates the number to be ten times that, making LD bigger than West Nile and Avian flu combined.
* 1 in 3 deer ticks in Minnesota carry the Lyme bacteria, according to the MN Dept of Health.
* Lyme cases have spiked 450% in Minnesota from 1998 – 2008.
* Tests for LD are highly inaccurate and result in false negatives; insurance companies then use these results to deny care.
* Patients are often denied much-needed antibiotic treatment by doctors who are misinformed about the disease or fear reprisal from state medical boards.
* Each year thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are “all in their head.”

“Under Our Skin” follows patients and physicians as they battle for their lives and livelihoods, bringing into focus a haunting picture of our health care system and its inability to cope with a silent terror under our skin.

The Minnesota Lyme Action Support Group is a non-profit organization working toward increased awareness and prevention of Lyme disease, as well as much-needed research into the causes and complications of tick-borne diseases.

The Minnesota Lyme Action Support Group also provides educational opportunities for physicians, advocacy for patients, information on tick-borne diseases, and support to those infected with Lyme disease.

Public release date: 27-Oct-2009
Contact: Randi Triant
Tufts University, Health Sciences

Tufts CTSI and Tufts University receive 4 NIH supplemental grant awards

The Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Tufts University today announced they are the recipients of four supplemental grant awards from the National Institutes of Health. These new awards, totaling approximately $1.73 million, are supplements to the original Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant, UL1 RR025752 that Tufts University received in 2008 from the National Center for Research Resources.

“Community Engagement Research” is a two-year project that will expand the scope of Tufts CTSI’s current community engagement program by enhancing the ability of community partners to participate more effectively in the development of research plans and outcomes. Begun in September 2009, the project has already established an alliance between the Tufts CTSI, the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center, and two pivotal community partners, the Center for Community Health Education, Research, and Service (CCHERS) and the Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health (ISG/H). This alliance is creating a curriculum and evaluation for a self-study and face-to-face program entitled “Fostering Community Partners in Translational Research (FCPTR)” that will target community agencies and health centers. The Program Director is Laurel Leslie, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

“Improving BPD Predictors and Outcomes for Clinical Trials” builds on prior landmark research that identified a constellation of signs and symptoms in high risk newborns to accurately define bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and predict the subsequent development of chronic respiratory morbidity (CRM) later in childhood and adolescence. While treatment with recombinant human superoxide dismutase to premature newborns has been proven to have a 55% reduction in CRM compared to placebo controls, current definitions of BPD may be unreliable predictors of CRM and a more robust reduction in CRM is needed. Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that converts superoxide radicals (highly reactive oxygen molecules produced during metabolism and capable of damaging body tissues) into less toxic agents. This one-year study is a prospective, longitudinal, observational study in 85 preterm infants 24-29 weeks gestation. The Program Director is Jonathan Davis, MD, Chief of Newborn Medicine, The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Program Director at the Clinical and Translational Research Center, and Professor of Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine. Partners in this study include Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard University), Beth Israel Hospital (Harvard University), Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Ohio State), and King’s College in London.

“Searching for Persistence of Infection in Lyme Disease” is a highly innovative Bench-to- Bedside research project that could have an extraordinarily significant impact on the field of Lyme disease. Although antibiotic therapy is clinically effective in treating the symptoms of Lyme disease for most patients early in the course of disease, a significant number of patients who receive therapy report persistent symptoms. A range of theories have been proposed for why this occurs. Moreover, commonly available tests for human Lyme disease are not able to determine persistent infection after antibiotic therapy. Program Director, Linden Hu, MD (Associate Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Microbiology, Sackler School of Biomedical Graduate Sciences) has begun an unconventional study examining whether xenodiagnosis (the feeding of uninfected Ixodes ticks on infected animals) can be used to determine when persistent infection occurs in humans. Xenodiagnosis has been used for other difficult to diagnose diseases such as Chagas disease and can sometimes definitively identify the presence of an organism in animals where other techniques cannot. Whether xenodiagnosis is effective in humans is unknown. This two-year project seeks to test the utility of xenodiagnosis for identifying persistence of B. burgdorferi, the spirochetal bacteria that cause Lyme disease, after antibiotic treatment of the disease. Dr. Linden’s team will test subjects with elevated C6 antibody levels or persistent symptoms after antibiotic therapy and patients with Lyme arthritis. Evidence that B. burgdorferi can be identified by xenodiagnosis after antibiotic therapy in subjects with continued symptoms would significantly change the current paradigm for potential mechanisms of disease and provide researchers and clinicians with a novel tool for identifying patients with persistent infection.

Tufts CTSI currently has a Pilot Studies Program that funds new interdisciplinary research teams, seeds novel ideas, and provides the means to acquire necessary preliminary data for larger, multi-year grant applications. A new supplemental project, The Pilot Project Mechanism, is led by Susan K. Parsons, MD, MRP, Director, The Health Institute, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies and Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine, and Amy Yee, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Sackler School of Biomedical Graduate Sciences. This two-year project expands the current program to influence research not just within the Tufts enterprise, but also throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and into New England via Tufts CTSI’s forty-three collaborating partners by soliciting interinstitutional and multidisciplinary applications. Many of the identified programs will hire and support undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, thereby creating jobs throughout New England and also increasing the pipeline for translational researchers.


About Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Tufts CTSI was established in August 2008 with Grant Number UL1 RR025752 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), National Institutes of Health (NIH). A collaboration of organizations, founded by Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University, Tufts CTSI accelerates the translation of laboratory research into clinical use, medical practice and health policy. It connects people to research resources, consultation, and education, and fosters collaboration with scholars of all disciplines and with community members, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the public. Website:

About NCRR and the CTSA Consortium

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the tools and training they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. NCRR supports all aspects of clinical and translational research, connecting researchers, patients, and communities across the nation. Through programs such as the Clinical and Translational Science Awards, NCRR brings together innovative research teams and equips them with essential tools and critical resources needed to tackle the nation’s complex health problems.

About the NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people’s health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease as well as the causes, treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases. Composed of 27 Institutes and Centers, the NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit


Independent film company Andalusian Dogs will host public screenings of their revealing documentary ‘Under the Eightball’ at The Brattle Theater in Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 4:30 PM. Another showing for ‘Under the Eightball’ is scheduled at the University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 7 PM. The film promises to be a paradigm shifting experience for many as it directs the viewers attention on the ‘true’ source of the suffering associated with Lyme Disease and a host of other illnesses.

Hartford, CT and Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 12, 2009 — The revolutionary, new documentary “Under the Eightball” will hold public screenings on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 4:30 PM at The Brattle Theater in Boston, Massachusetts and on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 7 PM at the University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut.

‘Under the Eightball’ is the only film about Lyme Disease that exposes the true nature of this horrible disease and its roots to the US Bio-warfare Program.

Director Timothy Grey says, “We’re gearing up to give the world an eye opening experience. Our goal, through the revealing footage in this film, is to give the citizens of our country and the world for that matter, a stiff dose of reality with the power to make a difference. There are far too many people dying and suffering needlessly of chronic illnesses primarily Lyme Disease and because this disease remains a ‘politically incorrect’ illness to diagnose, even more people will suffer unless we do something about it.”

Under the Eightball is an independent documentary film that promises to be a paradigm shifting experience for many as it directs the viewers attention to the ‘true’ source of the suffering associated with Lyme Disease and a host of other illnesses. Lyme Disease is frequently misdiagnosed as ALS, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and over 300 other diseases.

Under The Eightball was produced by Andalusian Dogs and was written, directed and edited by Timothy Grey and Breanne Russell. Executive producers are Justin Blake and Rasheed Ali.

— For more information about the screenings please contact Roxanne — 727-365-4428


Kim’s Notes:  I have yet to see this film.  Therefore, I have no recommendation on it yet.  I have heard mixed reviews, both good and bad, so…I would like the opportunity to screen it then give a recommendation…or not. //Kim

logo-prn-01_PRNWASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is Oct. 4-10, 2009 and as part of its observance, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling attention to a program now airing on PBS, “Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness.

“Observed annually the first full week in October, Congress established MIAW as a time to raise public awareness of serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Other diagnoses include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder.

  • About 60 million Americans experience mental health problems in any given year. One in 17 lives with the most serious conditions. Less than a third get treatment.
  • Half of all lifetime cases begin by age 14, but 10 or more years may pass between onset of symptoms and getting help.

“The first step in combating mental illness is education,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick.

  • Learn about symptoms that are warning signs.
  • Learn about different diagnoses and courses of treatment.
  • Discuss any concerns with a doctor.

Early identification is often the key to recovery. Treatment may involve combinations of medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy (“talk therapy”), peer support groups or community services. Diet, exercise, sleep and social support networks also play a role.

“As a society, we also need to strengthen the mental health care system and put an end to the stigma,” Fitzpatrick said.

Many PBS stations nationwide will begin airing Minds on the Edge, produced by Fred Friendly Seminars, Inc., during MIAW. The program explores the medical, legal, and personal dimensions of that broader challenge.


Minds on the Edge is perfect for public education,” said Fitzpatrick. “The program brings together some of the best minds in the nation for a fast-paced, lively discussion. It includes realistic scenarios of what can happen to anyone at any time.”

In the program, 12 experts — including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nobel Prize-winning neurologist Eric Kandel and law professor Elyn Saks, who lives with schizophrenia and recently was honored with a $500,000 “genius grant” from the McArthur Foundation — are forced to “role play” and confront assumptions in order to define issues and solutions.

SOURCE:  National Alliance on Mental Illness

MN capState Representative John Ward – 533 State Office Building – 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 651-296-4333

For Immediate Release

For more information contact: Posted: 8/10/2009

Matt Swenson 651-297-8406


In 2007 the incidence of Lyme disease in Minnesota shot up more than 37 percent in just one year. Figures for 2008 set to be released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) this month are expected to show similar dramatic growth in the number of Lyme disease cases statewide. Rep. John Ward (DFL – Brainerd) compelled fellow lawmakers at a joint committee hearing this morning in St. Paul to consider the damaging impact the spread of Lyme disease is having in the lives of Minnesotans. “At one town hall meeting after another, I have friends and neighbors standing up telling me they have Lyme disease or they know someone who does,” said Rep. Ward. “You might not hear about this disease every day, it may not always be in the news, but Minnesotans in every corner of the state are quietly suffering from this hidden epidemic.” The Greater Brainerd area is ground-zero for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses in Minnesota. In fact, almost 12 percent of all Lyme disease cases in Minnesota were reported in Crow Wing County. Cass County also ranks among the highest for incidence of Lyme disease, representing 5 percent of all reported cases. That’s why Rep. Ward is assembling a coalition of fellow lawmakers to combat Lyme disease in Minnesota with further efforts for prevention and a bill allowing physicians to more aggressively treat Lyme disease patients. “It’s been proven time and again that access to more aggressive, long-term treatment for Lyme disease can dramatically improve the condition of a patient and significantly enhance their quality of life,” Ward said. “But doctors today are not encouraged to provide that treatment; they’re even threatened with medical board sanctions if they do.” Only three states have legislation protecting physicians who treat Lyme disease from medical board sanctions – Minnesota is not one of them. For that reason, many Minnesotans with Lyme disease are forced to travel to other states to receive the treatment they need to recover and lead a normal life. That will change if a bill authored by Rep. Ward and Sen. John Marty (DFL – Roseville) becomes law. The bill, SF1631, would provide Minnesota physicians protection from medical board sanctions if they prescribe long-term treatment for diagnosed, chronic Lyme disease patients. “You would never hear of a medical board sanction against a doctor who wanted to do everything possible to help a patient suffering from cancer, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease,” Rep. Ward said. “There is no reason we should be tying the hands of doctors treating Lyme disease patients. There are too many people in my community and across the State of Minnesota with Lyme disease to simply fold our arms and turn them away. Every Minnesotan deserves a fighting chance at beating Lyme disease.”

Rep. Ward and the Minnesota Lyme Action Support Group (MLASG) strongly encourage Minnesotans to take proactive measures to protect themselves and their children from exposure to tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. MLASG encourages Minnesotans to take the following precautionary measures: • Avoid tick-infested areas – nymphal ticks live in leaf litter under oak trees. Sitting on logs or carrying firewood may increase your risk • Use tick spray containing permethrin on your clothing and DEET on your skin • Control ticks in your yard • Check yourself for ticks often and for several days after you have been in a tick-infested area – the longer ticks are attached, the greater the risk of acquiring Lyme disease

For more information about tick-borne diseases and the incidence of Lyme disease in Minnesota visit or

Please direct all comments concerning issues or legislation to your House Member or State Senator.

ticks3Large numbers of Minnesota ticks carry disease organisms
Tick bites can lead to Lyme disease and other serious diseases, warn health officials

Approximately one-third of blacklegged ticks (also called deer ticks) tested during recent years in Minnesota were positive for disease-causing organisms, say state health officials. Blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis (HA), and babesiosis, three illnesses which can lead to serious complications.

Between 2005 and 2008, staff members at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) collected blacklegged ticks from regions of Minnesota where Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are commonly reported. The MDH Public Health Laboratory tested these ticks for the presence of disease-causing organisms. “While levels of infection in blacklegged ticks can vary by time or place, these levels were consistently high,” said Melissa Kemperman, an epidemiologist specializing in tick-transmitted diseases at MDH. “Overall, about one out of every three adult blacklegged ticks was positive for the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. In many parts of Minnesota, this means that there is a good chance that any blacklegged tick you encounter is carrying the Lyme disease bacteria.”