Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Dementia’ Was Lyme Disease

After long suspecting Alzheimer’s, doctors did a test

For years, songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson was told he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of dementia. His memory was getting progressively worse.

But Kristofferson, 79, has revealed that he was misdiagnosed — he actually has Lyme disease, according to a June 6 story in Rolling Stone. A positive test result confirmed the hunch earlier this year, the magazine said.

Next Avenue, June 17, 2016

Evaluation of Strategies and Programs to Reduce / Eradicate Tick Populations

Report of Southold, NY Town Tick Working Group
March 28, 2016


The tick working group and the alliance both say public education is crucial, because people need to really understand the extent of the threat posed by deer and the tick-borne diseases they help spread. The public also needs to understand the facts about managing the deer population. The North Fork Deer Management Alliance has prepared a brochure that it is looking to raise money to print and mail to every household. The tick working group suggested to the town board that it mail a brochure that’s already been published by the county.

Protect Yourselves and your children from Lyme Disease

If you are going to be in areas that may be tick infested, there are several ways you can protect yourself.

Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be spotted more easily, and removed before attachment
Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks or boot tops can be helpful in keeping ticks from reaching your skin
Ticks are usually located close to the ground, so boots or shoes and not sandals, are recommended
Applying insect repellants such as DEET (n,n-diethyl-m toluamide) to clothes and exposed skin, and applying Permethrin (which kills ticks on contact) to clothes can reduce the risk of tick attachment
DEET can be used safely on children and adults, but should be applied according to label guidelines.

For more information see MI, Lyme Disease: Treatment and Prevention

Link between deer and Lyme Disease

The bacterium that causes the Lyme infection is typically transmitted to humans via deer tick nymphs that have fed on infected small mammals such as mice. The deer play a key role in the life cycle of the deer tick (black-legged tick).

Check the Lyme disease entries on and consider the State of Michigan’s statement on Emerging Diseases at,4579,7-186-25890-75872–,00.html

“Deer supply the tick that transmits the bacterium with a place to mate and provides a blood meal for the female tick prior to production of eggs. Research shows that reducing the deer population in an affected area to a level of 8 – 12 deer per square mile virtually eliminates ticks and Lyme Disease in humans.”

White Buffalo, as a credible source, wrote a piece about about Lyme disease, here, which cites Bernd Blossey, a principal author of the Cornell Study:
Lyme Disease and Deer: The Connection is Clear: Oct. 10, 2014!Lyme-Disease-and-Deer-The-Connection-is-Clear/cw92/898F2DF2-63AB-41D8-83C0-533A2A06C85C

“There are 3 important new papers out that shed light on the discussion about deer, ticks and Lyme disease. For the longest time, the link between Lyme disease and deer has been in dispute in the scientific literature and obviously in the public. Despite some encouraging news from islands where deer population declines or eradication resulted in disappearance of Lyme disease, the debate centered on the role of mammals, particularly mice and chipmunks, and mesopredators (foxes, skunks, coyotes etc.) etc. With these 3 new papers (see references and abstracts below), I can now confidently stand up and tell everyone who wants to listen that the link between deer abundance, tick abundance, incidence of Borelliosis in the ticks, and Lyme disease incidence in humans has a direct link. These papers are from CT, Thousand Islands Region in Canada and Indiana. They use very different methods, but all come to the same conclusions.”

Update from Municipal Health Director, CT

December 23, 2015

…..Here in the Nutmeg state, our deer population got out of control, particularly in Fairfield County (next to NYC). We have over 2K auto/deer collisions a year statewide. As a municipal health director, I receive approximately 400 Lyme disease case notifications per year; in a population numbering 20K. This is greater than any other reportable communicable disease. My knees and wrists know all too well the aftermath of Lyme, having contracted it twice. Most of us now carry a tick removal tool on our key chains. Needless to say, we have utter disdain for the Eastern whitetailed deer, the whitefooted mouse and the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis).

Safety and public health issues aside, probably the most devastating is the destruction to the level of browse of woodland undergrowth and the damage to Eastern Connecticut’s agriculture, particularly orchards and nursery stock. The woodland destruction is so extensive that there are no oak, ash, cedar or hickory saplings. The maple/oak woods behind our home is bare of any young trees; thereby allowing the unrestricted growth of brambles … several varieties, each worse than the other. Two years ago, the (hypothesized) insult to the forest ecology from deer overpopulation resulted in no acorns being produced. The deer population density and lack of food resulted in the re-absorption of deer fetuses and numerous starvation deaths. We also saw the introduction of wasting disease. While you may think that the stress on the deer population is a good thing, we also see a marked reduction in coyote, fox, wild turkey, woodland songbirds and predators’ morsels such as white-footed mice and voles. There is no stability. We go from one extreme to the other.

When I was the biological safety officer on Plum Island, we had to dispatch deer because of the threat of disease transmission, particularly foot and mouth disease. However, the more deer that were destroyed, the more swam from the Hamptons to Gardner’s Island to Plum. We spent about $40K annually (out of my budget) on APHIS hunters. I too managed to dispatch a few with my M1 carbine when I was duty officer and had to spend the night on the island. In short, we are harmed more by deer overpopulation than by ISIS.

Gigi Hadid Shares Story of Mom’s Struggle With Lyme Disease

Global Alliance chairman, Robert Kobre dished it straight: “If you’re at Cape Cod, Nantucket, vacationing on the Jersey Shore, Upstate New York, Michigan, California or living in Westchester in your backyard… Lyme does not discriminate. A tick spreads it and does not care if you are rich, poor, what race or religion, gender—it affects us all—playing in the woods, on beaches—particularly children.”

Read more:

Lyme Disease can affect your pets.

Many dogs with Lyme disease have recurrent lameness of the limbs because of joint inflammation, according to Others may develop acute lameness, which lasts for only three to four days but recurs days to weeks later, with lameness in the same leg or in other legs.

Better known as “shifting-leg lameness,” it is characterized by lameness in one leg, with a return to normal function, and another leg is then involved; one or more joints may be swollen and warm; a pain response is elicited by feeling the joint, and it responds well to antibiotic treatment.

Some dogs also may develop kidney problems. If left untreated, it may lead to glomerulonephritis, which causes inflammation. Total kidney failure sets in and the dog begins to exhibit such signs as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination and thirst, fluid buildup in the abdomen and in the tissues especially the legs and under the skin, according to

Ticks transmit two other diseases besides Lyme, Dr. Esplin said: anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis.

Read the full article at

They’re coming!! Black legged ticks


In an article in the Detroit News, Aug 16, 2015, Erik Foster, Medical Entomologist from the Michigan Department of Community Health stated:

“With certainty and with our research in 2010 and 2014 broad statewide surveys, we found these populations of ticks are moving eastward,” said Erik Foster, a medical entomologist with the Michigan Department of Community Health. “We’ve found blacklegged ticks three blocks from my house in Ingham County. I was really surprised; I didn’t expect to see it so soon.”

For the full article, see Ticks, Lyme disease fears leap in Michigan, Detroit News, Aug 16, 2015

The difference between the maps of incidence of Lyme Disease for Michigan, 2014-2015, on the right, which the HSHV say are about the same is that, in the last year, Calhoun County is now listed as Endemic and Ingham and Jackson county are listed as “potential risk” which means they didn’t meet CDC’s criteria for endemic, but we just heard from the medical entomologist in Ingham County that they found deer ticks within 3 blocks of his house.

2014_Lyme_Risk_MapIngham and Jackson counties are right next door! There are 66 miles between Lansing (where that doctor lives) and Ann Arbor
I drove back and forth from Columbus last week and there were deer and deer carcasses all along the roads. Lyme disease is found in both eastern and northern Ohio. It is 42 miles between Toledo and Ann Arbor.

Are deer to blame?– partially
Ticks don’t start out being infected with Lyme. They get it by feeding on an infected animal, often a mouse or other small rodent. Then, they pass it along to the next animal or person they bite.

Deer ticks need blood to survive. In a typical two year cycle, the tick must have three blood meals. The life cycle begins in the spring of year one. Adults lay thousands of eggs on the ground around the end of May, which hatch into larvae, about the size of a period, in early August. It is at this larval stage that the ticks receive their first blood meal, usually from mice, chipmunks, and birds. This is when the larvae become infected with the Lyme disease bacteria.

After feeding for several days, the ticks become fully engorged and drop off the first host, usually into leaf litter, shrubs or bushes. They remain dormant until the next spring when they molt into nymphs, about the size of a poppy seed. May, June, and July are when the nymphs seeking their second blood meal. They hang out on grasses and bushes waiting for the next host my walk by. While most feed on mice and chipmunks, it is the time of year when pets and humans start spending more time outdoors, and become unsuspecting hosts. Nymphs, the size of poppy seeds now, are very difficult to detect and easily overlooked.

After feeding for four or five days, the nymphs will drop off the host and eventually molt into eight-legged adults. And again they wait, on grasses and shrubs, “questing”, for the next host to come along.

In late summer and through the fall, the adult ticks find their way onto large mammals, usually deer, where they mate.

This is a time when humans and pets are again susceptible to picking up ticks. While still a threat, the adult ticks are larger than the nymphs and easier to see. The females will attach and feed for up to a week, and then drop off and lay up to 3.000 eggs which will hatch in the spring. The two year cycle begins again.

So it is deer, who regularly pick up and serve as taxi, meal and bedroom for the ticks. And deer who provide a good mechanism for the spread of the disease.
And while most deer travel maybe a mile a day, within their home range, during the rut (late fall), some bucks will travel over 10 miles looking for a receptive mate.

From: LYMEinfo and a variety of other known sources, including CDC.

For more information on Lyme Disease, see the Lyme Disease page on this site.

See also the abstract of the 2014 Journal of Medical Entomology article, “The Relationship Between Deer Density, Tick Abundance, and Human Cases of Lyme Disease in a Residential Community,” and download the full article if you want (may require purchase).

From a friend in Connecticut– Lyme Disease and dogs

In order for the dog to get the disease, the tick must be attached at least 48 hours. Of the dogs infected, only 10% will have clinical signs. These signs do not appear until 2 to 5 months after exposure. They include fever, paralysis, swollen lymph nodes, inflammation of the joints, arthritis in dogs, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In some cases, the heart and kidneys are affected. Because of this, they may start spraying and marking randomly around the house, and may require a belly band for dogs to be fitted.

Several years ago, my neighbor’s dog, Barnaby collapsed and could not stand up. Sylvia had to get help lifting the 95 pound dog into the car. He was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and put on antibiotics for 30 days. Barnaby recovered. The best preventative is to apply Advantix to repel ticks. Even if the tick attaches, it will die within 18 hours, so it isn’t infectious.

Use of the vaccine is controversial. Prevention is best. Our Alaskan Malamute tests positive for the virus, but she was a rescue that we got 6 years ago, so she may have been exposed or vaccinated, it’s impossible to tell. She has arthritis, but at 12 years old, given her size, it’s not unusual. Just as in humans, arthritis can be very painful for dogs and if that’s not bad enough, it can also have an effect on their overall health too. In order to make them as comfortable as possible, looking for the best beds for dogs with arthritis may be in your best interest, as this will allow them to relax and sleep without worrying that their arthritis is being impacted. But there are other things you can do. Some have suggested they give her CBD to reduce her discomfort. They have mentioned that those that specialize in CBD for pets can help. Websites like provide some useful information on the topic of promoting health and wellbeing for pets. Hopefully, this information will help to provide this rescued dog some relief from the pain of arthritis.