Chronic or Late-Form Lyme Disease

Experts now recognise that Lyme disease can take a chronic form and while we don’t know exactly how frequently this occurs, the latest studies predict up to 100,000 new cases in Germany and up to 300,000 in the USA.


But what is the difference between:

  1. The general chronic form of Lyme disease
  2. Chronic neuroborreliosis


In chronic neuroborreliosis, the disease is manifested exclusively in the nervous system but not in other organ systems. All parts of the nervous system – the central nervous system, the cranial nerves, the peripheral nervous system and the vegetative nervous system – can be affected to different degrees. For this reason, patients often report varying degrees of discomfort.

This is why Lyme patients are often diagnosed with having a mental illness; doctors rarely consider that their symptoms might be the result of a chronic infection.

The general chronic form (late form) refers to the multisystemic disease, which affects the nervous system and other organ systems. It has been proven that different Borrelia strains “prefer” different organ systems and can therefore cause different symptoms.

Symptoms of Chronic Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a multisystemic disease, which means that it can affect several organs and organ systems at the same time; patients with chronic (late form) Lyme disease and co-infections report many different symptoms (see overview below).

It is therefore difficult for both doctors and patients to assign these non-specific symptoms to an individual chronic infection, as the patient usually has more than one infection.

For further differentiation, you can use this checklist for symptoms of multisystemic diseases: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Finnish.

Most Lyme disease patients report:

  • Intermittent symptoms that “come and go…”
  • A key date or month “when it all began…”
  • A key date or month “when I became a different person…”
  • A key date or month “when I started visiting specialists on a regular basis…”

Patients also sometimes report being misdiagnosed as “mentally ill”, rather than suffering from a physical illness.

Image module