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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.
MARY ANN BLOCK, DO, PA Dr. Mary Ann Block is Medical Director of The Block Center, an international clinic for the treatment of chronic health problems in children and adults. She is an expert on the treatment of […]
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 […]
Jon C Rees, a researcher well published in scientific journals, has developed a remarkable hypothesis that the root cause of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS) may […]
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 […]
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) […]
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 […]
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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