Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Lyme disease forum Saturday at SUNY Adk., 9 a.m. to noon

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

A big crowd is expected for a Lyme disease forum this Saturday, Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon in the SUNY Adirondack Theater on Bay Road in Queensbury.

“Given the number of phone calls we have gotten and the number of people who have commented on Facebook and wanted more information, I think there’s going to be a lot of people here Saturday morning,” said SUNY Adirondack microbiologist Holly Ahern, who will moderate the discussion.

The theater seats 400.

Among the speakers is Dr. Richard Horowitz, who Ms. Ahern describes as “the rock star. He’s the one who wrote the book, Why Can’t I Get Better? It was a New York Times best-seller.

“He’s probably the best known of all the physicians who treat Lyme disease patients. He has a model of treating all sorts of chronic infectious diseases that is working for people and he’s going to be talking a little about why some patients don’t get better after three weeks of antibiotics, why some people stay sick and is there hope for the people that do? And the answer is yes, and he’s going to present some of that.”

The forum is sponsored by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. She and Rep. Chris Gibson will speak briefly, and. Other elected officials expected to attend include State Senators Betty Little and Kathy Marchione and Assemblyman Dan Stec.

The three principal speakers will “pre-sent a perspective that Lyme disease can be a chronic disease and that it needs to be addressed,” Ms. Ahern told The Chronicle.

“Dr. Daniel Cameron is the president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, or ILADS,” and the lead author of the ILADS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease, she said.

“Dr. Garth Ehrlich, professor of microbiology and immunology at Drexel University School of Medicine is the world’s expert on chronic bacterial disease.

“He’s an expert in biofilms, which is one of the ways bacteria can hide out and cause persisting infection, leading to chronic disease. Basically he’s going to talk about a possible reason why some people remain sick after taking antibiotics.

Dr. Horowitz will be the third speaker.

Chris Fisk, who with Ms. Ahern started the Lyme Action Network, said recent developments in diagnostic research “are very positive and help paint an optimistic picture of what is on the horizon, provided the science, and not the politics, be allowed to dictate the course of this journey.”

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