PANDAS/PANS Overview

girlPANDAS is often suspected when suddenly a child develops “neuropsychiatric” symptoms—such as obsessions and compulsions, involuntary tics, or mood changes—after a strep infection.

Defined in the mid-nineties by Dr. Susan Swedo, PANDAS stands for “pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections.” The simple explanation of this long term is that a strep infection is causing an immune response that’s affecting the brain of a child, causing changes in behavior.

PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome) is a newer term that explains similar sudden symptoms caused by strep as well as other infections and non-infectious triggers. (PANDAS is a type of PANS.) Please see this article on PANS: “Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome”)

In additional to challenges a family faces in dealing with a child’s symptoms, PANS in general and PANDAS in particular is difficult because:

  1. Numerous types of triggers can cause similar symptoms
  2. Some in the medical community insist PANDAS does not exist.
  3. A controversy exists on how to diagnosis PANDAS and PANS.
  4. Many physicians are not familiar with the conditions, and it is difficult to find expert help.
  5. Research has not yet defined the best treatment approaches.
  6. Some of the recommended therapies are expensive and not covered by insurance.

The good news is that progress is being made, and children can be treated successfully.

We have addressed these issues in the sections below as well as in our e-book Your Child Has Changed. Should you Consider PANDAS? Let’s Talk

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Related articles are shown below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can search using the box at the upper right of the page or browse our forums. We host the largest international forum on PANS/PANDAS and related conditions.

If You Are Dealing with PANS You Can Check Symptom Intensity

| April 2, 2014

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Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Symptom Scale ~ Parent Version If you have a child with PANS or PANDAS, have you wondered where your child’s symptoms fall on a scale of intensity compared to others? Is the […]

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Success! Naturopathic Treatment for Severe OCD, Anxiety, ADHD and Tourette’s (Premium)

| December 22, 2013

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Thomas’s mother Thank you for the help offered in ACN’s wonderful book, Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes. Some of the suggestions were instrumental in my son Thomas’s recovery. Knowing the desperate feeling of looking […]

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Peeling the Onion: PANDAS and the PANS Project (Premium)

| November 7, 2013

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This article on PANDAS: Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome and the PANS Project was updated November 7, 2013 When we see our child develop an illness that causes behaviors to suddenly, dramatically change, we expect to […]

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Research on PANDAS and PANS

| October 17, 2013

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We’ve compiled a list of published research articles on PANDAS and PANS, presented in chronological order. The controversy surrounding these conditions is reflected in the research. Many of the publications are offered as full (free) […]

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Antibody Testing for PANDAS

| October 16, 2013

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Dealing with a condition like PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections) is stressful enough for a parent, without having to decipher the technical terms involved in laboratory testing. One term that comes […]

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What is Behind the PANDAS Controversy?

| September 28, 2013

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Even twenty years after PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections) was recognized, after numerous studies have added to evidence in support of the condition, a debate continues over whether PANDAS actually exists. The […]

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Fighting Our Way Out of the Despair of OCD and PANS (Premium)

| July 31, 2013

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By Ellen, mother of Tina Editor: Ellen’s story is shared to convey the serious symptoms and struggles that can occur with an infection-triggered neurological disorder, as well as the determination often needed to find help. […]

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An Introduction to PANDAS: a Subtype of OCD

Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep  This article is adapted with permission from the Children’s and Adult Center for OCD and Anxiety. Founded and directed by Tamar Chansky, PhD, a leading expert on anxiety and OCD, the […]

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