Lyme disease itself does not typically show up on MRI scans, as it is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which does not produce any specific changes in brain or spinal cord tissue that can be detected by MRI. However, in some cases, Lyme disease can cause neurological symptoms, such as inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, which can be seen on MRI scans. These changes may include white matter lesions or abnormalities in certain areas of the brain or spinal cord.
In addition, MRI scans may be useful in ruling out other conditions that can mimic the symptoms of Lyme disease, such as multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune disorders. MRI can also be helpful in evaluating the severity and progression of neurological symptoms associated with Lyme disease, and in monitoring the response to treatment.