(reflective music)>>I had daily headaches
and I was exhausted and aches and pains and
I couldn’t figure it out, but I knew myself well enough
to know it wasn’t right.>>It’s still very common
for people not to know they have the early stage of Lyme disease. I see many patients that the
very first time Lyme disease is thought of is when the knee swells up.>>I never ever had any
kind of bull’s-eye rash or none of the typical
symptoms and, of course, in the hospital the
tests came back negative so nobody ever suspected Lyme. (reflective music)>>This is a disease that can
strike over 300,000 people in the United States. (reflective music)>>I think it’s fair
to call it an epidemic, it’s an expanding epidemic. Every year there’s more cases
than there were the year before because the geographic range expands as the infected tick populations move into new regions. The Lyme Research Center was started a little over two years ago. We’re really the first Lyme
Center in a major department of medicine in the United
States that’s really focusing on patient-based research in
all aspects of Lyme disease.>>So we’re treating people
as if they’re a complete book. And so we’re trying to follow
them from the first chapter, the second chapter, deep into their story.>>One interesting thing
is some people get it, their treated for it and it’s over with. So, there are two distinctions. One is the people who get
Lyme and they’re lucky enough that the antibiotics work
and they’re good to go. Then there’s this Lyme disorder.>>What happens is they’re
treated, the rash goes away or the manifestation
diagnosed then goes away, but they’re left with these
very pervasive symptoms. Fatigue, trouble focusing
and concentrating, muscular skeletal pain, and these symptoms really can be quite severe
and they can really profoundly affect a person’s ability to function.>>You just feel like you’ve
been running on batteries your whole life and you
had six batteries in you and somebody came a long and took five out and you’ve gotta still do the same things, but on one battery. (reflective music)>>John: What our research tries to do is bridge those patient’s illnesses to the finest in laboratory research.>>So we really wanted to
do high quality research that characterizes those
patients that kind of captures a range of information so
that we can ask questions through a bunch of disciplines.>>John: So it’s what we call
bedside to bench research. Patients with Lyme disease
are seen in the clinic, but then their blood and
other biologic specimens are transferred to our
laboratories where the scientists and immunologists at Hopkins
try to understand the impact of Lyme disease on our
patient’s immune systems, on their health, on what’s
really driving their illness.>>So these are live cells
that we put in a very special media and allows them to be frozen down so that we can then retrieve
them in a year, two years, maybe even 10 years from now for study, using technologies that we
haven’t even developed yet.>>I was quite envious when
I learned about the study and I wanted to be a
part that, as do I think a lot of, you wanna feel that
you can be useful in some way, even if it’s a very small way.>>To be candid, I was like, “Okay, well, “I got Lyme disease, let’s go get it,” and I didn’t think it was
gonna be that serious, but it turned out to be a lot more severe and more serious and more
complex than anything I had imagined. With every patient that John
sees, we’re getting one step closer to really
understanding this disease and being able to eradicate it
or to be able to prevent it.>>It’s a significant issue and it impacts on people’s well-being
and their productivity and their sense of self-worth.>>It’s wonderful to know that
there’s research going on.>>Chris: You can’t beat
Hopkins as far as research.>>There’s no doubt in my
mind I would be in a very different place had I not come here.>>The key is to support Hopkins, not only with funding,
but with just education and spreading the word that
not only is there hope, but there is a need to find
an answer to this disease. We’re gonna win this.>>Talking to you now, I think back on it, I’m so much, so much better than I was. (upbeat music)