Geo-Statistical Analysis of Possible Spirochetal Involvement in Multiple Sclerosis (Abstract)

Geo-Statistical Analysis of Possible Spirochetal Involvement in Multiple Sclerosis

Zoonotic diseases, especially those with insect or arthropod vectors, are recognized public health problems. This class of diseases includes West Nile Virus, Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE), Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme Disease. This study examines whether Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which is the most common primary neurological disorder of young adults, also belongs in this category. Visual and geostatistical analyses of MS and Lyme reveal striking similarities between the two diseases. Maps displaying each disorder’s geographic distribution by county reveal this overlap visually. In addition, the statistical correlation between MS and Lyme deaths (specifically all arthropod-borne disease deaths) is significant at the state-level and highly significant at the county-level. MS incidence is known to vary with latitude; the study’s statistical analysis reveals that Lyme Disease follows the same trend. Discussion of possible biological explanations of these geographical and statistical trends is included in this article. Significant correlations also exist with other diseases: on the state level, the correlation between MS and breast cancer is 0.330, and between MS and ALS (Motor Neuron Disease used in this study), the value is 0.618. The control, external accident/injury, did not yield significant correlations. Producing the maps and data required contacting all of the state epidemiologists in the nation for Lyme incidence data. Compiling the data has resulted in one of the most comprehensive Lyme databases available to researchers. The results of the visual, geostatistical, and biochemical analyses suggest common spirochetal involvement in MS and related diseases.