Lyme Disease

Reporter: Leisa Goddard

He's one of a handful of doctors in this country offering treatment for Lyme disease, a disease the government says doesn't exist here despite hundreds of people saying they have contracted it. "At some stage somebody in the office behind me will actually acknowledge the existence of this disease and will allow us to treat patients without the threat of persecution or scrutiny or audit." A year after speaking his mind at this Brisbane protest the medical board has caught up with Dr Ladhams effectively banning him from treating Lyme disease patients.

"If I stop treatment now, I don't want to think about that" Gianna was a healthy, hi-flying executive until a tick bite paralysed her three years ago. For 18 months Gianna was under psychiatric care - doctors telling her, her illness was in her head, finally she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. "We noticed changes immediately as soon as we came under the care of a doctor who knew what he was doing we saw immediate changes."

"Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by ticks" Dr Peter Mayne says he's successfully treated hundreds of patients. He's so fed up he's formed a break-away group of GPs to try to stop the witch-hunt and have Lyme disease formally recognised in Australia "it is the infectious disease doctors that are the problem" Janet had to take her daughter Tiffany, overseas to have her diagnosed. Janet and Tiffany would travel from Melbourne to see Dr Ladhams on the sunshine coast but now, "I don't know where that will leave me. I think I'll lose her I've seen how she is and I just get really scared."

20 year old Bonnie Burns couldn't find a doctor to treat her in Australia, "you would hope that the doctors would help you to get through this but they don't, they just turn a blind eye to it all." Desperate she left Perth and headed for Bali for an intensive ten week detox treatment. "The Lyme does not like the treatment that it is getting so you are breaking down the bacteria of Lyme and what that does causes the Lyme to release off bad toxins and makes you sick." It also made her better, "I was able to walk around without any sort of pain, and I was actually able to start reading again." "It is a complex disease, in fact, if it's caught early and treated with anti-biotics, it's a very easy disease to treat but if left untreated and becomes chronic it becomes a major, major serious disease. "As part of the fight to have the disease recognised in Australia the University of Sydney is conducting a Lyme disease study and needs participants. Dr Mualla McManus says "we are working with the government to get the processes in place so that recognition does happen."

And for more details on the Lyme disease study being conducted by the University of Sydney contact:

Dr Ann Mitrovic

02 9351 3217

Further details

Dr Peter Mayne

02 6559 9277

More information on Lyme Disease