Although the editors of InsideSurgery.com did not participate in the care of Andreas Lubitz, we are following news reports closely.
Multiple sources today are reporting that he was under continuing care of a physician who recommended that he stop flying as a commercial airline pilot for Lufthansa controlled Germanwings air service.
Lubitz seems to be a well-liked, non-controversial young man from a stable upbringing who by all accounts loved being a pilot.
What could have caused him to fly his airliner with another 149 people aboard to their certain annihilation into a French mountainside? One wonders what medical condition would cause a professional pilot to do this?
Lyme disease is a possibility. Sadly, this tick borne illness is endemic in Germany. Once infected with the Borrelia microbe it can be very difficult to eradicate. It can cause a myriad of symptoms and up to 25% of those infected either present or manifest significant psychiatric symptoms.
These mental illness problems include depression and erratic behavior up to frank psychotic symptoms.
It appears that Andreas Lubitz had a medical condition of some sort in 2009 that delayed his pilot training. After treatment, he was cleared to begin his professional flying career.
Lyme disease, like its spirochetal cousin syphilis many decades earlier, is known by medical professionals as the great imitator. It can cause many different disease symptoms, is difficult to diagnose, and a very difficult infection to eradicate.
It has felled many healthy young German adults who are chronically ill with a relapsing, remitting pattern of symptoms, including psychiatric maladies.
Clearly, there was something terribly wrong with Andreas Lubitz and there had been for many years. His doctors were trying to get him out of the cockpit. Tragically for the 149 lost souls, it was too late.