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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.
LENDRI PURCELL, Founder of FACTS – Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxic Safety; Vice President of Jonas Philanthropies A year and a half ago, my quirky, spirited and brilliant 7-year-old son started to experience some very […]
My Kid Is Not Crazy, a stirring and heartbreaking documentary on PANDAS, can be seen on DVD and Vimeo. Director Tim Sorel is a University of Florida Professor and documentary filmmaker. Inspired by chance meetings […]
This poll on blood type has been closed. See the results here. Original poll request: Can you help? An anonymous poll has been developed, designed only for mothers with a biological child who has been diagnosed with […]
Inflammation in the brain has been associated with a number of adverse neurological conditions, including among others, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, PANDAS/PANS, autism, tic disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. A leaky blood-brain barrier allows immune molecules […]
LAURA MATHEOS Laura Matheos is a contributing author to the Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy (ACN) and Latitudes.org When learning about PANDAS/PANS, parents struggle to understand what’s happening to their child. They also struggle to find […]
An informative question and answer session held during a symposium on PANDAS and PANS covers a range of audience topics. The YouTube video posted by the Pandas Network is 18+ minutes and should be of interest […]
Laura Matheos Researchers have discovered how immune cells triggered by recurrent Strep A infections enter the brain, cause inflammation, and may lead to autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders in children, including PANDAS. Children with PANDAS exhibit high […]