Dr. Susan Swedo presented a history of PANS ( Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) in the video below. Her talk was recorded October 1, 2015 at […]
PANDAS/PANS: Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms in PANDAS
In addition to the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or tics required for a diagnosis of PANDAS, other symptoms some may experience include hyperactivity, separation anxiety, onset of bedwetting and daytime urinary frequency, difficulty sleeping, moodiness, joint pain, and a deterioration in handwriting quality or school performance.
The current diagnosis of PANDAS as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health is:
- The presence of obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or a tic disorder
- Pediatric onset of symptoms (age 3 years to puberty)
- Episodic course of symptom severity*
- Association with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection (a positive throat culture for strep or history of scarlet fever)
- Association with neurological abnormalities (motoric hyperactivity, or adventitious movements, such as choreiform movements)**
* Episodic means that the symptoms come on suddenly, then gradually disappear, followed by a symptom-free period; then they appear suddenly again, as a reaction to another strep infection or exposure.
** This refers to hyperactivity or unexpected, typically jerky, movements.
PANS: Symptoms and diagnostic criteria for PANS have been proposed. Please see here for an explanation of PANS symptoms.
Since there are currently no conclusive laboratory tests for PANDAS and PANS, the diagnosis is a clinical one and open to interpretation.
For more information see our e-book Your Child Has Changed. Should you Consider PANDAS? Let’s Talk
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The National Institute of Mental Health describes current criteria for recognizing and diagnosing PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome) with the following explanation. Because it is often difficult to demonstrate the relationship between strep infections and OCD/tic symptoms […]