A New Lyme Disease Center is Open at Newport Hospital

It will offer complete care for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

A new Lyme disease treatment center is now open at Newport Hospital in Rhode Island, giving New Englanders another way to combat the enigmatic disease.

The Lifespan Lyme Disease Center, which opened last week, is offering multidisciplinary treatment for both current Lyme sufferers and those with lingering cases. To address the wide-ranging symptoms associated with the disease, which include everything from muscle aches to neurological issues, Lifespan’s team of specialists will also lead patients in cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy, and nutrition counseling as needed. The center will also be equipped to treat other tick-borne illnesses.

Lifespan’s opening comes during a time when Lyme research is becoming both more common and more necessary than ever. Lyme disease is known for being constantly misdiagnosed and mistreated—hence the need for Lifespan, which is the first facility of its kind in Rhode Island, but joins several similar centers in Massachusetts—making it the center of many studies and clinical trials. In Boston alone, drug development company MassBiologics is developing a vaccine to prevent the disease and a Northeastern University professor is working on an antibiotic dosing method that could effectively kill Lyme cells.

Why so much research around Lyme? Quite simply, New England is rife with cases of the notoriously difficult-to-treat disease. In 2013 alone, Rhode Island had about 42 cases per 100,000 people, while Massachusetts had 57. Vermont had the most in the nation, with roughly 107 cases per 100,000 people, making it a full-blown epidemic in this region.