Press release – Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation donates $304,000 to further Lyme Disease research, announces ongoing venture grant policy

Dec 11th, 2013

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, a registered charitable organization, is pleased to announce that it has made a donation of $304,000 to the G Magnotta Foundation for Vector Borne Diseases, Ontario, Canada.

The donation will be used primarily for a human tissue research program being developed in conjunction with the Humber River Hospital, Toronto, Canada.  Research will entail studying tissue and fluid from various patient groups whose symptoms mirror Lyme Disease. 

Approximately 2 million Canadians are diagnosed with conditions of unknown origin including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that share symptoms with Lyme Disease. We know that a percentage of these are in fact Lyme Disease, or triggered by Lyme Disease.  This research program will aide in understanding what that percentage is.

Many Canadians have been diagnosed with one of these diseases of unknown origins only to find out later that their illness was Lyme Disease all along.  Treatment for Lyme Disease followed, and their quality of life improved greatly, allowing many to get out of wheelchairs, get out of bed, return to work, return to school, and enjoy life again.

As reported by Health Canada in October 2012, current tests used in Canada to test for Lyme Disease are incapable of detecting many of the bacterial strains that causes Lyme Disease. In order to understand the prevalence of the bacterium in the human population, researchers will employ various technologies, including advanced DNA sequencing techniques, microscopy, and serology.

In August 2013, in a press release by the United States Center for Disease Control, it was indicated that they have been inadvertently under-reporting Lyme Disease for decades; instead of the approximately 30,000 cases reported annually, the real incidence is estimated to be closer to 300,000 cases annually.  Most cases are within a few hundred miles of the Canadian border, suggesting that Canada likewise has a serious, under-recognized problem and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation has been emphasizing this for a decade.

This new research program will help give Canadians a better understanding of the impact tick-borne disease is having on the health care system.

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation has also now released its venture grant policy for students and researchers.  Grants of up to ten thousand dollars are offered to qualified applicants.


 

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