MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thanks to philanthropic support for transformative research that improves health outcomes, a research Fellow with the nonprofit Thought Leadership & Innovation Foundation (TLI) is closer to identifying effective, specific and sensitive diagnostics for and treatment of debilitating diseases, such as Lyme disease and a common co-infection Bartonella. Unreliable testing for these diseases, transmitted by ticks, fleas, body lice, flies and other organisms known as vectors, often leaves those who are infected without a diagnosis or treatment.
Bill Oldham, founder and chairman of the Board, TLI, says, “These challenges are fueling the dedication and determination of our research Fellow from the University of Minnesota, Marna Ericson, Ph.D., to unlock new and unique diagnostic and treatment approaches. Expectations are to move this research into the clinic and provide physicians with better tools to more quickly and accurately find and treat these diseases. Such initiatives align with TLI’s work in the chronic illness sector and will help patients avoid the disabling long-term effects of infection.”
As the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. and increasingly prevalent in all 50 states, Lyme disease can result in severe symptoms that are often similar to those of other diseases, including joint pain, facial paralysis, sleep disorders, arthritis, neurological conditions and tingling/numbing of the hands and feet.
Dr. Ericson explains, “Current tests rely solely on blood testing and often fail to consistently detect infection in the patient over time. In fact, some military personnel deployed in the Middle East were likely exposed to Bartonella and were never diagnosed. Veterans are often plagued with mental health problems, such as insomnia, anxiety and depression – symptoms that are also common with vector-borne diseases.”
Their research in this field has also led to the discovery that metastatic melanoma cells provide a safe harbor for Bartonella bacteria. Additionally, they are testing promising new technology for detecting multiple pathogens in blood intended for transfusions.
Oldham says, “TLI’s expanded partnerships with academia and community organizations will make available new testing, treatment and the development of standard care guidelines for vector-borne diseases. This body of research complements our other collaborative partnerships throughout the country to address issues related to health, education and economic empowerment. Collectively, these projects extend our mission to foster transformative change that improves the health and well-being outcomes of communities around the world.”
To learn more or make a gift, please contact the foundation.
About TLI Foundation:
TLI Foundation is a nonprofit foundation focused on driving innovative thinking and action on global issues relating to health, education and economic empowerment. The organization is committed to fostering transformative change and improving the health and well-being outcomes of communities around the world. Visit https://www.thoughtfoundation.org/