Severe symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can sometimes develop as a response to a streptococcal infection. Studies also show that tics associated with Tourette syndrome can also be triggered by a bout with strep.
The BBC ran an article this week on a study that looked at this immune connection. The researchers examined 200 children aged four to 13 who were diagnosed with a neurologic disorder and compared them with healthy children. Youngsters with OCD, Tourette syndrome, or other tic disorders were “more than twice as likely to have had at least one streptococcal infection in the three months before symptoms of their disease emerged.” If there had been more than two strep infections in the year prior to the onset of symptoms, the incidence of disorders was more than three times as common.
If you educate yourself, you may know more about this issue than many doctors because the research is just emerging.
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Our organization has been promoting the importance of the immune system in tic disorders and OCD for over 12 years. Strep is not the only agent that is implicated, and numerous causes for an immune response are possible. Each new study such as this one adds credibility to the connection and helps open new doors for treatment.
It is not fully understood why some people have a predisposition to these immune responses, but there are many possibilities. ACN Latitudes will continue to focus on this important topic.
ACN predicts that in the near future, the common belief held by the conventional medical community that Tourette syndrome is primarily a genetic disorder for which little can be done beyond drug therapy will be regarded as fiction rather than fact.