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Lyme Seminar Set For May 14



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Lyme Seminar Set For May 14

RIDGEFIELD — As part of its continuing educational efforts, the Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force will hold a full day of free lectures and exhibits on Saturday, May 14, at Scotts Ridge Middle School, 750 North Salem Road. The event will run from 9 am to 5 pm with doors opening at 8:30.

Attendees are encouraged to come early as the group’s seminar last fall was filled to capacity. Breakfast will be provided. Highlighting the day will be an appearance by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Morning presentations are designed to assist parents, school professionals, medical practitioners, and psychotherapists in identifying and providing services for children with tick-borne diseases. While most area residents are familiar with the early manifestations of Lyme disease, the multisystemic late-stage symptoms can have a devastating effect on a patient’s ability to function.

Panelists will offer insight into the neurological, psychiatric, and educational issues that may result from untreated or undertreated tick-borne disease.

Panelist include Sandy Berenbaum, a licensed clinical social worker with Family Connections Center for Counseling in Fishkill and Brewster, N.Y.; Neuropsychologist Leo Shea III, PhD, clinical assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at New York University School of Medicine and staff psychologist at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine; and Noreen J. O’Mahoney, founder and director of Collaborative Advocacy Associates LLC, a firm specializing in supporting children with learning needs. All have been extensively involved in evaluating and testing children  with Lyme disease. The session will also include a video presentation featuring Brian Fallon, MD, director of the Lyme & Tick Borne Disease Evaluation Center at Columbia University and a leading expert in neuropsychiatric Lyme disease.

The morning session will end with a question and answer period followed by a one-hour lunch break. Attendees will enjoy visiting displays presented by the Torrington Health Department, one of the three Connecticut areas selected for CDC Lyme prevention programs; tick remediation companies; and local support groups and task forces.

The afternoon session, which will focus on testing, diagnosis, and treatment, begins at 1 pm with opening remarks by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a longstanding advocate for Lyme disease sufferers.

Lyme and associated tick-borne disease testing and reporting will be the subject of the afternoon’s first speaker Jyotsna S. Shah, PhD, CCLD, MBA from IGeneX laboratories. Dr Shah will explain in layman’s terms the tests available for tick-borne diseases and the supportive role they play in making a diagnosis. The picture will be further clarified by internist Richard Horowitz, MD, a practicing physician in Hyde Park, N.Y., who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.

Dr Horowitz, first vice president of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), will cover issues related to early and late-stage symptoms, treatment, and the emerging infections such as babesiosis and ehrlichiosis.

The afternoon’s final speaker will be Steven E. Phillips, MD, president of ILADS and a practicing internist in Wilton. Dr Phillips will address the increase in tick-borne diseases, treatment and current research, as well as the problematic nature of Lyme regarding misdiagnosis.

For additional information on the seminar and displays, call the Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force at 203-431-7006 or email RLDTF@comcast.net.

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