Lyme disease is the number one vector-borne epidemic in the United States and Europe. It mimics a host of chronic diseases including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Autoimmune illness (i.e., Multiple Sclerosis [MS], rheumatoid arthritis [RA]) and neuropsychiatric diseases, including Alzheimer’s dementia. Unreliable blood testing and two standards of care for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease have resulted in confusion within the medical community, leading to devastating results for patients. Disabled individuals often see multiple medical providers, depleting personal health care resources, without getting adequate answers for their illness. Despite 40 years of research into the etiology of chronic symptoms for those suffering from Chronic Lyme disease/PTLDS, there is still a lack of consensus within the medical community as to why patients remain chronically ill. Dr Richard Horowitz is one of several researchers and clinicians that have attempted to bridge the gap between university-based research and applicability in day to day clinical practice, known as translational medicine. 


Dr Horowitz and his staff have seen over 13,000 chronically ill individuals with Lyme and associated co-infections at the Hudson Valley Healing Arts Center during the past 30 years. He has identified up to 16 reasons why these individuals remain chronically ill with disabling symptoms and has coined this diagnostic and treatment model “MSIDS”, Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome. Two national/NY Times best-selling books by Dr Horowitz have discussed the MSIDS model in detail, along with peer reviewed medical publications. Persistent infection with Lyme and associated co-infections, with associated inflammation and immune dysfunction (the 3 “I’s”), result in chronic symptomatology and disability, and treating abnormalities on the 16-point MSIDS model has been effective in helping thousands of patients regain their health. Dr Horowitz, medical director of the HVHAC, and Dr Phyllis Freeman, senior researcher at the HVHAC, have published several ground-breaking articles in the medical literature during the past several years, identifying novel persister drugs to treat Lyme disease and associated co-infections. They have published a recent article validating the Horowitz MSIDS questionnaire (HMQ) as an inexpensive screening tool to help identify those who may be infected with tick-borne diseases. Unfortunately, these effective diagnostic and treatment protocols have not been effectively disseminated and adequately adopted into the broader medical community. We are therefore creating the MSIDS Foundation, a 501c3, devoted to publishing research that will benefit and advance the field of Lyme and other chronic diseases. Chronic disease accounts for 86% of our health care costs and 70% of the deaths in the United States. The research conducted by the MSIDS Foundation will allow health care providers and patients to have access to effective medical protocols developed over the past 3 decades in Dr Horowitz’s clinic, and will advance the field of chronic disease medicine for the general good.


We are therefore asking you to consider being a part of the MSIDS Foundation and assisting with research which urgently needs to be published to help solve the most pressing issues regarding Lyme and associated diseases. Some of the research which will be able to be performed with your participation includes the following studies:  


  1. Babesia study: Babesia is the most frequent parasitic co-infection causing chronic illness in our patients. We need to do a study to identify the number of patients infected with different strains of Babesia (including B. microti, B. duncani) and evaluate the efficacy of different anti-parasitic protocols. This will be one of many data mining projects. 

  2. Pregnancy study, Babesia: Babesia and other co-infections can be transmitted from a mother to her unborn fetus, resulting in adverse fetal outcomes. We have evidence of positive Babesia FISH testing twice in the third trimester in a patient, during back to back pregnancies. There are few published medical articles on Babesia in pregnancy. Our treatments led to healthy outcomes in two children, and these protocols need to be made available to the broader medical community, especially OB-GYN’s, to protect our future generations.

  3. Pregnancy Study, Lyme: We have treated over 100 pregnant women with antibiotics during their pregnancy. We need to publish the safety and efficacy of our antibiotic prophylactic regimens in pregnancy, which have been shown to prevent maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme.

  4. Transfusion of Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma and Relapsing Fever Borrelia: these bacteria and parasites can be transmitted via the blood supply. 4/1000 blood transfusions in the United States have been shown to contain Babesia, which is potentially fatal in the very young or elderly with impaired immune systems. A study with the Red Cross evaluating the HMQ (Horowitz MSIDS questionnaire) as an inexpensive screening tool to screen for tick-borne diseases like Babesia needs to be performed. This may help to prevent transmission of tick-borne diseases via the blood supply.

  5. Bartonella study: Bartonella is one of the most common bacterial co-infections leading to chronic illness. We need to data mine those with positive titers, VEGF and FISH testing pre- and post-therapies, and do a retrospective analysis of antibiotic combinations/efficacy, as Bartonella has also been shown to be a “persister” bacteria leading to chronic symptoms.

  6. Multicenter prospective Dapsone study: We published the first effective oral “persister” protocol for Lyme disease in the medical literature last year, using mycobacterium drugs like Dapsone. We are now looking to do a multicenter prospective study to prove the efficacy of Dapsone and other persister protocols for Lyme and associated co-infections. This study is one of the most important studies to be performed by the MSIDS Foundation, as prior NIH studies were inadequate in solving the decades old question regarding the efficacy of longer term antibiotics for those with chronic Lyme disease. 

  7. Retrospective analysis of PZA for Lyme, co-infections (Bartonella): Pyrazinamide (PZA) is another mycobacterium drug which we found to be effective in Lyme and difficult to treat co-infections with autoimmune manifestations. We published the first case study in the medical literature last year on an individual with Behcet’s disease, an autoimmune condition of unknown cause, who responded positively to PZA. We identified Bartonella as a cause of the condition. We need to publish a larger retrospective study on the efficacy of PZA. Prospective studies with PZA also need to be performed, as it is a first line drug for tuberculosis, helping to decrease the length of therapy; Would the same be true if we used PZA as an initial therapy for those chronically ill individuals with Lyme disease who failed traditional medical therapies?  

  8. MSIDS data mining: We need to publish in the medical literature the number of overlapping variables on the MSIDS map contributing to chronic illness. A large data mining project can accomplish this task. It will require scanning in several thousand medical records, de-identifying them, and then assembling a team of researchers to digitally encode the results. This project is vitally important to helping improve care for those who are chronically ill. The results may not only help those suffering with Lyme-MSIDS, but other chronic illnesses of unknown etiology. The first stage of a data mining study of 200 chronically ill individuals on dapsone combination therapy for Lyme and associated co-infections was recently published in the medical literature with the joint assistance of the MSIDS Research Foundation and Bay Area Lyme Foundation. The groundbreaking article which provides a precision medicine approach to tick-borne disease with physician and patient accessible solutions can be found at the following web site: https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6040129

  9. Individual aspects of the MSIDS model: we see many variables on the MSIDS map contributing to fatigue, pain and cognitive issues in Lyme patients, that have been poorly identified in the medical literature as causes of ongoing symptomatology. This includes a considerable number of patients with associated co-infections, such as Babesia, Bartonella, Tularemia, and Brucella. Many individuals in our clinic also have evidence of heavy metal toxicity/mold toxicity, food allergies and leaky gut with histamine intolerance, as well as POTS/dysautonomia, interfering with their progress. Another example, poorly identified in the broad medical literature, is how inflammatory cytokines affect pituitary/hormonal functioning. We oftentimes see low testosterone (low T) in men with Lyme disease, which is never suspected during routine workups. There is a need to publish our novel regimens that have been effective in reversing low T without classical hormone replacement therapy (i.e., Clomid/Arimidex), as well as the protocols for the above medical problems that have been effective in relieving suffering. Each aspect of the 16-point MSIDS model can ultimately be data mined and published, elaborating their role in chronic illness.

  10. Case histories: We have had many individuals with remarkable responses to therapy which need to be published in the medical literature. These include those who have regained their vision after being told they would be legally blind for life; young women in wheelchairs unable to walk, who ambulate after therapy; neuropsychiatric presentations with psychosis responsive to antibiotics, especially the new Dapsone protocol. 

  11. Culture Studies on Combination Antibiotic Protocols for Lyme: We have worked with Dr Eva Sapi, from the University of New Haven, who performed culture studies on combination antibiotics for Borrelia. She found that doxycycline, rifampin and dapsone was the most effective protocol for Lyme “persisters”. This study and future studies need to be performed and published in the medical literature as we identify the most effective treatments for those suffering with chronic tick-borne disorders.  

  12. Alinia study for Lyme disease: New drug regimens need to be evaluated for treating borrelia. We have had success using Alinia at the HVHAC. Alinia is a broad-spectrum antibiotic with antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties. A new formulation of Alinia which is better absorbed is becoming available through Romark laboratories, and we are poised to do initial studies with their company evaluating the efficacy of the drug. The MSIDS Foundation will be a leader in evaluating and developing new protocols.

  13. First responder study: Many first responders who put their life on the line for their community are exposed to ticks in their line of work. They may become disabled from tick bites, and are unaware of the risks. Educational programs combined with screening for tick-borne disease among this population (using the HMQ) may help to identify those who have been exposed, interfering with their lifesaving work.

  14. Evaluating the HMQ as a screening tool for multiple chronic diseases: Lyme “mimics”, other diseases, including CFS, Fibromyalgia, resistant pain syndromes, autoimmune diseases, dementia and those suffering with resistant neuropsychiatric symptoms. This study could help identify those who have been misdiagnosed, improving their health and subsequently lowering associated health care costs. This is especially important since we are experiencing an opioid epidemic in the US, and many whom we have treated for Lyme and associated co-infections have been able to get off high dose narcotics. Similarly, Lyme spirochetes have been identified in the biofilms of brain tissue from those suffering with Alzheimer’s dementia. Broad screening efforts for tick-borne diseases and identifying overlapping factors on the MSIDS map among those with chronic illnesses may have a significant positive impact on health, improving the wellbeing of our chronically ill population in ways that we cannot yet conceive. 


If you wish to contribute and be part of the MSIDS Foundation, helping to improve the care of those with Lyme and other chronic illnesses, please contact us at research@msidsfoundation.com. Your contribution will be tax-deductible. If you know others who may also wish to be part of this important project, please let us know. 


Thank you for your support.