A glimpse from a parent. “I need to die. Please kill me. Someone please kill me!” My 7-year-old is shouting this at the top of her lungs, standing in her pediatrician’s examination room. Her eyes […]
PANDAS 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:
- Numerous types of triggers can cause similar symptoms
- Some in the medical community insist PANDAS does not exist.
- A controversy exists on how to diagnosis PANDAS and PANS.
- Many physicians are not familiar with the conditions, and it is difficult to find expert help.
- Research has not yet defined the best treatment approaches.
- 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
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.
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