WHAT IS PANDAS?
"PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) occurs when strep triggers a misdirected immune response and results in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life-changing symptoms such as OCD, anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, restrictive eating, and more.
PANDAS Network estimates that PANDAS/PANS affects as many as 1 in 200 children.
The hallmark trait for PANDAS is sudden acute and debilitating onset of intense anxiety and mood lability accompanied by Obsessive Compulsive-like issues and/or Tics in association with a streptococcal-A (GABHS) infection that has occurred immediately prior to the symptoms. In some instances, the onset will be 4 to 6 months after a strep infection because the antibiotics did not fully eradicate the bacteria. Many pediatricians do not know the latent variability of strep – Rheumatologists and Streptococcal Experts do.
When strep cannot be linked to the onset of symptoms, the NIMH states one should look into the possibility of PANS.
PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) is when an infectious trigger, environmental factors, and other possible triggers create a misdirected immune response results in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life-changing symptoms such as OCD, severe restrictive eating, anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, and more."
- PANDAS Network
To learn about some of PANDAS symptoms check out of #knowthesymptoms Campaign here.
It's never easy to know what it's like unless you're living it. To hear some stories of what the journey to a PANDAS diagnosis has been like for the families featured in Stolen Childhood check out our #pandasjourney Campaign here.