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  1. 3 points
    Hi, and welcome! My DS has a similar story to your DD's . . . OCD at age 6, started CBT and some ERP and it backed off for a while, OCD returned with a vengeance at age 8 and this time added low-dose SSRI to therapy which worked for several years, and then at age 12 became so dysfunctional no SSRI worked, wouldn't participate in therapy, etc. That's when we were finally able to get a PANDAs diagnosis and treatment (antibiotics). In our case, because his initial response to antibiotics was so positive, we were able to convince our doctor to continue to renew them, and in the end, he was on them for nearly 2 years, with improvements all along the way. We saw Dr. K. for a consultation and he recommended IVIG for us, also; Dr. K. believes that IVIG is the only true way to "reset" the immune system and stop the autoimmune onslaught behind the anxiety/OCD, and the NIMH (Dr. Swedo) has agreed with him. As you've probably seen here, there are those here who've had positive results with IVIG, and some who've not had palpable or lasting impacts, and I don't think anyone fully understands why the differences. In our case, our DS was responding so well to abx, we decided we'd hold off on IVIG until and unless his improvements ceased or we couldn't get them abx anymore. Not only did the IVIG seem like a more dramatic step, our DS didn't have any immune deficiencies, so we knew our insurance would not cover the treatment. A couple of things you noted I wanted to respond to, specifically: 1) as your DD has had breathing/sinus issues, have you ever had her sinus' "scoped"? There are a couple of families here on the forum who's sinus testing disclosed some cysts in the sinuses that were basically pockets of infection, more or less hanging out there and driving an unrelenting immune response which also reached the brain. Upon having the cysts removed, followed by a round of antibiotics, the child's behavior improved dramatically. We never went to the scoping for our DS, but he, too, had had sinus and breathing issues since he was 2 or 3. We think maybe the long course of abx was necessary in his case because of some infection hanging out in those sinuses that took a while to eliminate non-surgically, as his breathing and sinus issues improved along with his behavior symptoms, and he's not had any significant issues since PANDAs treatment. 2) You mention seeking Lyme testing. I would encourage you to address that before you decide upon IVIG as there have been some reports here by families that IVIG was ineffective or even problematic for them because their child had underlying Lyme and/or co-infections that they didn't know about before moving forward with IVIG. 3) While I do believe that you need to find appropriate medical treatment and perhaps SSRIs will not ever be a successful piece of your DD's health, my DS has continued to benefit from a low-dose SSRI for some occasional, lingering anxiety periods, and there have been other kids here for whom low-dose SSRI's have been helpful in conjunction with other tools. You might consider some genetic testing such as Genomind which focuses on genetic makeup and which psychiatric medications are likely to be effective or not based on one's genetics. And 3), you have a concern about "irreversible brain damage." As the parent of a kid who, like yours, went for many years unsuccessfully treated for an autoimmune response (strep was our culprit), I will tell you that I don't see any brain "damage," per se, but I do believe that my DS's "wiring" today was informed by his experiences all those years. He is now a healthy and happy 20-year-old, a scholarship student living away at college and growing mentally and emotionally on a daily basis. But he is still prone to some anxiety during stressful times, and his go-to response to that anxiety are some OCD behaviors. At this time, the anxiety and OCD are under control and so minor/sub-clinical that if you didn't know him extremely well, you'd have no idea. So, "damage"? I don't think so. But a part of who he is? Maybe. Perhaps he'll continue to mature and evolve past even these remaining behaviors as his mind and body health stay with him. Or he might always have these "tendencies" which, in addition to making him anxious at times, also make him conscientious, sensitive and empathetic toward others and their eccentricities. Hang in there, and all the best! All is NOT lost!
  2. 2 points
    MomWithOCDSon

    Sensory Processing or PANDAs?

    Kelly -- I suspect it is a combination of both...an unfortunate marriage of a genetic susceptibility and the PANDAS-related inflammatory response. And it may not be a "flare" so much as a continuation of the original PANDAs/PANS immune onslaught; many of us find that a "typical" or shorter course of antibiotics is insufficient for fully addressing our kids' conditions, so a two-week course may not have fully addressed the "animal" that is PANDAS/PANs. Our DS, too, had some mild sensory issues prior to a the full-blown PANDAs episode that sent us into a tailspin. Once the PANDAs hit full force, we had him professionally evaluated and as with most of his behavior set, the results came back "borderline." During PANDAs, he was alternately identified as "borderline" a number of things: OCD, Asperger's, PDD-NOS, Sensory Processing Disorder. You name it, the poor kid, at one point in time or another, wore a label for it. What I can tell you is that, with the conclusion of effective PANDAs treatment, the sensory and social issues resolved 100%. One doctor even took steps to revise his file to remove the former ASD notation he'd made there. I would say, however, that I don't think you are wasting any effort in giving her access to OT; I think it will only help her as she heals and enforce positive behaviors and coping strategies that will stand her in good stead going forward. All the best!
  3. 2 points
    My DS is now 17 and applying to colleges, never thought we'd see that day. Like BOBH mentioned my DS reacted to Vit D and O3's like we had given him LSD. Super scary. But he was a paradoxical reactor as so many PANS kids are. He also was super sensi to Probiotics but I vetted the ones he took like no-tomorrow and keep copious notes on how he reacted to everything. He's the full meal deal - PANDAS Plus who never stopped flaring once he started for almost 4 years, missed almost 4 full years of any type of school he was so impacted, and was also diagnosed with Lyme and POTS. I think he was on Abx for over 4 years straight. Game changers for him were getting the Strep out (took over 6 months and a tonsillectomy) at the beginning of his illness, then 2 years later him getting Plasmapheresis (TY Dr. L), and now for the past year HBOT has been UNBELIEVABLE for Lyme symptoms, so we now have one of our own. Look into hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Lyme... My boy was almost 12 when he crashed, IVIg didn't help at all, Abx kept him from getting Strep again but didn't help him stop flaring, ibuprofen took the teeny tiniest edge off him and he took 3 caps every 4 hours for 12-18 months if not longer. PEX was huge for us, although he got worse before better, but we got the suicidal depression and schizophrenic crazy gone and our boys mind back as a result of it. He's 17 now talking about perusing an engineering degree. Dec 11th as the 6th year anniversary of his crash. It's like a bad dream we are waking up from finally, thank gosh. I sincerely hope your boy gets well soon.
  4. 2 points
    The obvious approach is to say exactly what you wrote: that you believe your son may be having neurological inflammation because of an autoimmune response based on a list of symptoms that you have documented. Then see what tests he suggests and allow him to make the diagnosis. Remember that there is an art and science to using the terminology that will ensure that your child gets the treatment needed that will also be covered by insurance. I was careful to allow each doctor to use "PANDAS" before I did. If they did not, then I didn't either. After all, a bruise is also called a contusion ;-).
  5. 2 points
    dreamingpanda

    Recovery Time

    I agree that everyone is different. So much depends on how old a person is, how severe, how long it's been untreated, and what kind of treatment they get. And sometimes, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how fast or slow one person recovers. In my experience, I was untreated for eight years, had my first IVIG at 19, and after another IVIG and a tonsillectomy, I'd say I made a full recovery over a year later. I've since relapsed twice, but that's because I caught Lyme disease, which complicates things a great deal. From what I've observed in my own journey, it's very hard to give an accurate percentage of recovery, or to figure out when I've gotten all the way back to myself. I don't know if I've ever been 100% symptom-free since I became ill eleven years ago. I've stopped trying to assign a number to where I am in recovery, and I just gauge whether or not I'm able to live my life as I wish. Ultimately, I think that's the best a lot of us can do. For me, there's never been a day or even a month when I've suddenly realized everything was back to how it was before. It usually seems to be a painfully slow process where I shed symptoms and regain my "self" so slowly that I might not even realize it's happening. It's easy to over-analyze ever day, every tic, and every little compulsion, but the overall trajectory is what's most important. There will be ups and downs and flares for pretty much everyone, but hopefully, the underlying trend is towards the positive. At my age and given how long this went untreated, it's possible I'll always have some minor symptoms. But even if this is so, thanks to treatment, PANS hasn't stopped me from doing anything I've wanted to accomplish in my life. So hang in there! You might be in this for the long haul, and there may be a lot of ups and downs, but yes, your daughter can and will get better with the right treatment.
  6. 2 points
    Our DS (age 10) is now so much better and recently went back to school for the first time in nearly a year. I look back at how surreally awful things were a year ago and wanted to summarize for this forum how we got to where we are today. I can only hope this might help others in the doldrums of this thing. It is a dark place. Pardon the long post, but I want to share as many details as possible. I first set out our son’s symptoms/some observations about diagnosis, then detail what our treatment consisted of (son is 90% back!) Background of Symptoms/Onset What I now know to be classic PANDAS symptoms started up when our son had just turned 9 (following a 103.8 fever, we don’t know what the virus/bacteria was bc our urgent care only tested for influenza which was negative). He had no prior health issues and was a great student/very social/sporty etc. All around super easy kid. First symptoms were withdrawing from normal activities and wanting to be on iPad all the time, strong separation anxiety, and restlessness/fidgetiness. Soon, he began to have major panic attacks, often several in a day, dilated pupils, look of terror on his face, frequent urination, extreme irritability and oppositionality, weird emotional regression and inappropriate smiling when something bad/upsetting happening, handwriting issues, refusal to go to school (I now fully understand why), inability to fall asleep (but then sleeping 12 hrs), extreme restlessness/moving around (doing summersaults on bed, standing on head while on sofa etc, but not a pure “tic”), major light and noise sensitivity, complaints of blurry vision, and major joint pain. We finally dug out of him that he had intrusive images. This was like a game of whack a mole. Entire family a wreck. Pscyhologist/Psychiatrist said he had severe anxiety and possibly late-onset ADHD (and that these other symptoms were just his way of expressing his anxiety as pain etc), and so we chased down the anxiety/psychological symptoms with cog behav’l therapy and everything only got worse. Tried Zoloft, did nothing other than major side effects/whole body hurt. Footnote Re When This All Started While it is very clear that his big fever/infection set off this major flare, we realize now that our son probably had smaller flares in previous years. They were minor enough and he was a high functioning kid, such that he “hid” them well or managed around them etc. The main symptoms of these earlier, smaller flares were separation anxiety, complaints of scary images (we assumed from commercials for horror movies etc but now think they were the intrusive images) and frequency of urination (especially following strep 2 years prior to this flare). The thing that was always odd to us was that he was such an outgoing, easy, great student etc, that we never understood the separation anxiety bc it didn’t match his personality profile. Our PANDAS doctors have explained that this illness can creep up with each strep exposure (or later, other viruses/bacteria) until you get an illness that “puts the straw on the camel’s/child’s back” and the immune system gets over some sort of tipping point. I think some of what is out there in the literature about PANDAS makes too much of the suddenness of onset. I think the final, full blown, horrible flare that leads you to treatment can come on suddenly, but a child might have been “ramping up” over years, with each infection getting them higher on the rung of a saw tooth formation. This is important bc I think it very often delays proper diagnosis (see also observations below relating to difficultly in diagnosing kids who don’t get tics or ritual based OCD). Other Observations in Diagnosing PANDAS Three other observations that might help other parents, especially those in the diagnosis phase. This is based purely on personal experience (I am no doctor), observations from reading the literature, and input from several other families I have come to know with PANDAS. I think all of us lose sleep at night knowing that there are children out there who are not getting properly diagnosed, and meanwhile recovery gets more complicated the longer diagnosis is delayed (and worse, usually there are incorrect diagnoses along the way…) 1) 1. OCD, which is one of the primary diagnostics for PANDAS, can take many different forms. I thought that OCD would be extremely obvious, like hand-washing or other rituals that are repetitive. I came to learn only after months of psychologist apptmts and talking with my son that he was having what is called “pure O” where there are no rituals, but rather intrusive thoughts or images. This OCD is far more “invisible” and further, the children often don’t want to talk about it bc they are embarrassed about what their intrusive images or thoughts are about if they are taboo subjects. When children have PANDAS with tics or the type of OCD with rituals, they might get diagnosed more quickly because tics and rituals are (painfully) visible. I remember in one of my many pre-diagnosis 1am google searches coming across PANDAS and thinking it sounded like a possibility, but since we didn’t have “OCD” or tics that we didn’t have PANDAS (though I also now wonder if the fidgety/restlessness is sort of the same type of brain response to swelling as tics) 2 2. Our expert PANDAS doctors explained to us that with PANS/PANDAS there seem to be two groups of patients: a) those for whom antibiotics alone will help – these are likely children who are diagnosed relatively early on (my own suspicion is that these kids often have tics, which are obvious, or perhaps are even reacting to a current strep infection), and those whose immune systems have gotten so whacky from years worth of miss-firing autoantibodies that they will need second line treatments to get the brain swelling down and to tamp down the immune system’s hyperactivity (steroids and “steroid extenders” like plaqenil/cellcept/ritux are key here etc). I wish I had understood this a little more earlier on because I initially read so much about children who were basically completely cured from simply taking antibiotics (perhaps in combo with Naproxen). But when your child takes antibiotics and it doesn’t help, this can be very confusing/disheartening and can perhaps even lead a parent/doctor to think it is not PANDAS despite all other signs pointing there. 3) 3) Regarding other co-infections…. In our son’s case, his diagnosis was relatively straightforward once we got to the experts. He had no pre-existing health or behavioral challenges etc., and he tested negative on the usual set of co-infections (e.g. lyme). That said (and again I am no doctor, just sharing info I have gotten from our drs and from reading), it seems like there are quite a number of of bacteria and viruses that can lead to inflammation of the brain with the same litany of awful symptoms (e.g. the worst-off Lyme patients seem to me to be identical to /are PANS patients). Other posts on this forum have far more info about these other bacteria and viruses. It is honestly rather overwhelming when in the diagnosis phase of this. The main point I want to share is that what I have garnered from our doctors: for any sort of post infections autoimmune brain inflammation is suspected, you will want to follow a protocol of i) treating the infection if it is ongoing and since they can be hard to find, you typically treat as though it is active (generally this is done w antibiotics – though getting the right one matters), ii) bringing down the brain swelling (often with steroid type drugs if it doesn’t happen on abx alone, which is very often the case, or at a minimum, with Naproxen), and iii) preventing future infections and hyperactive autoimmune responses (often long term abx plus a steroid extender of whatever potency deemed necessary). In some cases patients aren’t given ii, but those seem to me to be early treatment cases (or cases where drs haven’t realized there is brain swelling/or have health conditions preventing use of steriods). Some people will try homeopathic options or diet changes for i or iii, but this may or may not be strong enough to get the immune system to behave properly (e.g. there are children who don’t make enough vit B12 (MTHFR mutation etc) where a lot can be gained with B12 supplements or who are too low on vit D etc). What We Did Like many of you, we did all the cog behav’l therapy and SSRi stuff. This was of zero help whatsoever. I remember trying to get him to attend school: I would go into the classroom and sit in the corner and that is when I realized he literally could not do the work. I saw his handwriting – it was like a 4 year old version of himself. He was slipping away even with cognitive abilities. We realized at this point something very awful was happening and started to fear a brain tumor (though never had any seizures so we were put off by most drs on this). We kept going to our pediatrician who has known him since birth. She was surprised by all this since he was a “very straightforward” kid prior, and thankfully she ordered blood work including strep titer levels. Found elevated strep titer level (435 on a test where 300 was max of normal) but no active strep or mycoplasma infections, low Vit D, and elevated monocyte levels. She said could be this thing called PANDAS and put him on Keflex. Didn’t help, he got worse every week. Did one oral steroid 5 day course (60mg/day) and we saw a glimmer of improvement. Then, thankfully we got in with experts at Stanford. We owe them our child’s life (treatment details below). The Stanford PANDAS experts did an extremely thorough exam (done regularly throughout treatment) and even more bloodwork (negative on Lyme and various other coinfections, had elevated levels in 3 out of 4 on Cunningham panel, and again high monocyte, low vit D and high titers). He had choriform movements when his hands were stretched out (apparently you need to look for even slight movements/it is rarely what you see on YouTube videos as that gets diagnosed sooner these days), and movements with his tongue. Also could see it in the “milkmaid test.” Very distressing to watch. Joint pain all over the place. Skin rash indications of some sort (I never really followed that part of exax). They also did handwriting evaluation - also affected. They were very certain he had PANDAS/it was a clear case. Ordered MRI to rule out brain tumor and vasculitis. Meanwhile he was put on Augmentin and 880mg Naproxen/day (kept on Zoloft mainly so as not to have more than one medication change). No improvement. Took weeks to get in for MRI (huge overload at hospital due to need for anesthesia). Immediately following MRI/ruling out of brain tumor or vasculitis, we commenced a 3 day high dose Solumedrol infusion. (Major issues getting him to hospital for this – massive fear of needles/hospitals etc, had to have police escort and used valium - barely helped). But thank goodness we got him there, we could tell he was better even by the third day of infusions. (Note he had allergic reaction to the HD Solumedrol, but we found that if we kept him on Benadryl before, during, and for 2 days after, he was fine, also cut out Naproxen and used Tylenol instead for that time period). By 7 days post infusion, we could see significant improvement. That improvement went like this: very up and down, 2 steps forward, 1 step back, the first symptoms to be relieved were the extreme oppositionality and some of the crazy restlessness/fidgeting, he was maybe 30% better overall). Overall, through below-detailed treatments, his symptoms disappated in the reverse order in which they arrived. Weird, but I guess makes some sense based on the brain swelling and then de-swelling. After the first HD Solumedrol 3 day infusion, we did the following: - As soon as we could tell the Solumedrol was helping, we started him on Plaqenil (RH drug used for long time, goal is for it to help calm immune system generally and also “hold” the effects of the steroids). - Continued on antibiotics, but we switched to Amoxycillin which is supposed to be 100% strep effective (eventually to a phrophelactic level dose) - Stayed on the 880mg/day Naproxen and existing Zoloft - 4 weeks after first set of infusions, did another 3 day HD Solumedrol infusion - Then, for the next 4 months, we did 1day HD Solumedrol infusions, spaced out by 4 weeks. (fortunately we did not see “slippage” between infusions, which I think is why we were only put on Plaquenil instead of one of the other, stronger steroid extenders like Cellcept or Rituximab, which are also being used in combo with the HD Sol). The 1 day infusions were far more tolerable (better with sleep and not feeling awful). Our son improved with each infusion by day 7, though there were side effects (weight gain, cognitive fog, a different kind of inability to fall asleep – we used Benadryl every night); these side effects tended to subside the further out we got from every infusion so week 3 and 4 always the best. - We never did IVIG. We were told that it is currently only working in 20% of patients our drs were treating – perhaps b/c too many in the donor pool have PANDAS or b/c of particular strain of strep around here. I also see that very often IVIG is prescribed together with HD Sol, so maybe the latter is the more key med. (Also, our insurance wouldn’t have covered IVIG, at least without a fight – good news is HD Sol is very common for autoimmune disease/is not hard to get approved like IVIG). We were told that the HD Sol pulsing was a more aggressive treatment protocol anyway. Other non-medical things we did that I think helped: -We had his friends over as much as possible, even when he was super sick and really could only play video games (his friends were great and helped with that, and I have never found a 9 yr old boy who doesn’t want to play video games). Gaming was his favorite thing to do b/c he said he didn’t have to deal with his intrusive images/feelings of fear/sunlight. The social was a big big help I keeping him as normalized as you can be when not attending school, and later, in getting him back to school (that is how to see your friends the most!) -I think one of the best things we did, in retrospect, was take vacations that were in the sun/lots of swimming/with other kids. This got him back in better shape, but the sun exposure also seemed extremely helpful. I have since heard there is lots of research on the role of Vit D in other autoimmune diseases like MS (maternal grandmother has this), so we are giving 5000 IU of Vit D/day. Also, I think our vacations are helpful b/c of getting them out into a different routine/change of scene helps the brain forge new pathways. -We tried getting him to do academic work, but this really never worked at all… Best was Kahn Academy, which he would do some of but only review of stuff he already had learned before getting sick/he would always stop where “new learning” would start. We really struggled with this b/c the advice is to push them and this is hard if your kid won’t even let you read to him). We only got him back to academics/school after done with all HD Sol infusions (perhaps brain fog lifting) - Nightly Benadryl was big help for sleep. Have stopped now, but drs said to fine to use as needed. Today Son is so much better (outside the academic context I would say 95% back). Anxiety/fear sensation/intrusive images, joint pain, fidgeting, restlessness, irritability, handwriting - all the other symptoms much much better. Back in school! Very social. Main remaining issues have to do with cognitive functioning/cognitive fatigue, specifically with short-term memory and processing speed. The anxiety he still has is actually what I would term reasonable anxiety at having missed so much school and not having his brain fully back up and running academically. I would be anxious about that too. We are not sure how best to help the cognitive functioning come back other than to wait. This is our challenge today. We also have not had a major test of his immune system (no major illnesses in our house since he got so sick) so we will have to see if his immune system “holds.” Questions we would love help with 1. How to help cog functioning (anyone tried “cog med” or neurofeedback? Anything else other than time?) 2. I still don’t feel like I have a clear sense of whether this is supposed to improve with puberty? Any insights there would be very welcome!!!
  7. 2 points
    There are a couple of possible factors (if not infection or immune dysfunction based): 1. SSRI "poop-out" is real, unfortunately; you can find first-person accounts of it in forums and discussion groups all over the world, and I've seen it first hand in family members. That said, just anecdotally, I think some are more prone to it than others. Though the science is still not fully researched or documented, it seems to have something to do with the particular receptors that each SSRI affects; pretty much every SSRI has a different formulation that impacts different receptor sites (whether dopamine, serotonin, 5H-T, norepinephrine transporter receptors, for instance), even though there's typically some crossover among all of them. At any rate, if the receptor sites become unresponsive, which they can do, then the med doesn't work as well. Weight typically has little to do with SSRI dosage. 2. We had a psych (and she's actually somewhat versed in PANDAS/PANS and certainly doesn't dismiss it) note for us that a component of our DS's increased challenges at an older age, as compared to when he was younger, were a factor of the expanding "gap" between what were age-appropriate expectations for behavior and what his jumbled brain could manage for him at the time. It's one thing for a 3 or 4 year old to melt down in public, but when a 12, 14 or even 18 year old can't manage all the stimuli coming in and melts down, it's a whole different animal! So, even if nothing dramatic changes in terms of environment or demands, just the fact that she's getting older and so society, friends, outside world and maybe even you tend to expect more "self-management" of her, that's a kind of pressure all on its own that might result in increased anxiety. Sorry you're continuing to go through this; we've been there (a protracted "story"), so I know how frustrating and demoralizing it can be at points. All I can say is that, in your shoes, I would probably first try to rule out any physical (infection or immune) component to the decline, and once having done that, maybe look into the mental health options available to try and improve the quality of your DD's life (and yours by extension). I don't know if you've considered it, but there are now the genetic testing options available (like Genomind) that hone in on genetics and any mutations that may interfere with the effectiveness of various medications, including SSRIs. That might be one route to pursue, particularly if the others aren't fruitful. All the best to you.
  8. 2 points
    MomWithOCDSon

    Help with meltdowns/mood lability

    My son was older when PANDAs struck him (12), but we still saw lots of meltdowns, mood swings and generally age-inappropriate behavior. I don't know about these being the result of a herx. I attribute my DS's behavior during that period to just feeling overwhelmingly anxious and out of control...his executive functioning was basically nil, so all of the things that had previously come naturally to him and he could do well and with joy, were no longer available to him. That was incredibly distressing and frustrating, so his emotions were constantly taking over and he'd melt into a puddle of dysfunction. I might suggest the following: Eliminate all but the essential activities for a while so that he's not over-stimulated and/or expected to "handle himself" in as many stressful situations, even if they all were fine before; Try using anti-inflammatory and/or calming meds and/or supplements to help his brain "settle down" a little while the abx do their thing (ibuprofen, valerian root, etc.); To the extent possible, build lots of "breaks" into his day to allow him to rest and regroup as managing oneself under this level of stress is very tiring, emotionally, mentally and physically, so he's probably in need of some quiet breaks during which he's not expected to play with others, engage with others, etc.; While you make the preceding accommodations, don't entirely forego your family routine, age-appropriate expectations, etc. Decide what non-negotiables you'll continue to enforce so that he knows there is still structure, support and boundaries even while he heals. It will help him feel safe, secure and less out-of-control in the end. All the best to you, and good luck!
  9. 2 points
    sf_mom

    Separating PANS from Lyme/Bart

    PANS can be trigger by chronic Lyme and co-infections. Are you still treating for Lyme? Did you treat for any other co-infections? We have three children, all gestational Lyme and have been treating ongoing for last seven years. Our older son was a clear PANS child. Strep, MMR and virus all within three week period woke up a different child at 5 1/2 years old. Younger twins had ASD and Asperger's presentation at 2 1/2 years old. They are now 10, 10 and 13 years old. You would never know of their prior diagnoses. All are living normal lives. Even our DD's learning disabilities have reversed. Eye sight improved, etc. etc. etc. They have had tons of intervention but are well. I would encourage you to revisit the chronic Lyme et al component to resolve PANS
  10. 2 points
    I totally agree with bobh. My kids were lucky to find doctor L in Washington DC to diagnose them both as having PANDAS (very different symptoms though) and when she put both of them on steroids there was an immediate difference. That noted, if you noticed a difference in your symptoms your OCD and other symptoms it would appear to be biologically based... My kids also had very similar symptoms that you mention. We have never done the Cunningham panel but have worked with first D. L with antiobiotics and then moved on to a wonderful naturopathic doctor, using supplements, Low dose naltrexone, and other things to bring both kids symptoms way down. We also found borrelia Lyme in both kids and mycoplasma with my daughter and have worked with those areas too. My daughter also had her tonsils and adenoids out and it also helped significantly. She had a number of OCD issues that are still there but not nearly as significant as they used to be. She still has the sensory issues but her handwashing has almost totally gone. My kids were diagnosed six years ago and are still have their moments but it is under control and they are able to function quite well despite some very bad years. I am not sure where you are from or your language, but there are many support groups on Facebook in different countries and states in the US. I am currently in Europe if you need help there. You are a strong man and you will overcome this. There are lots of people out there to support you like on this forum. We all want to help.
  11. 2 points
    Hey, I'm putting this article here b/c when I've searched for it recently it's been behind a paywall...but today it's not. So now it's here for safe keeping in case it becomes inaccessible again. Antibiotics have a role in PANS even with no infection Publish date: February 9, 2017 By: M. Alexander Otto Clinical Psychiatry News EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM THE PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY UPDATE INSTITUTE SAN FRANCISCO – Antibiotics might help in pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) even if there’s no apparent infection, according to Kiki Chang, MD, director of PANS research at Stanford (Calif.) University. first step at Stanford is to look for an active infection, and knock it out with antibiotics. Dr. Chang has seen remarkable turnarounds in some of those cases, but even if there’s no infection, “we still do use antibiotics.” There are positive data, “although not a lot,” indicating that they can help. Some kids even seem to need to be on long-term antibiotics, and flair if taken off long after infections should have been cleared. Dr. Kiki Chang “We don’t know what’s going on. We try to stop antibiotics if we can; if patients relapse, we think the benefit [of ongoing treatment] outweighs the risks. Some kids just have to be on antibiotics for a long time, and that’s an issue.” Perhaps it has something to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of antibiotics like azithromycin and amoxicillin, or there might be a lingering infection, he said at a psychopharmacology update held by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. PANS is a recently coined term for the sudden onset of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) within a few days of an infection, metabolic disturbance, or other inflammatory insult. Anxiety, mood problems, and tics are common. There might be severe food restriction – only eating white foods, for instance – that are not related to body image. PANS broadened the concept of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS), which was first described in 1998, although it’s been known for generations that acute streptococcus infections can lead to abrupt psychiatric symptoms. PANS is the topic of ongoing investigation, and Dr. Chang and many others are working to define the syndrome and its treatment, and trying especially to determine how PANS differs from typical OCD and other problems with more insidious onset. The idea is that inflammation in the patient’s brain, whatever the source, triggers an OCD mechanism in susceptible patients. As a concept, “we believe it’s true,” he said. For now, it’s best to refer suspected cases to one of several academic PANS programs in the United States, as diagnosis and treatment isn’t ready for general practice, he said. If more than antibiotics are needed, Stanford considers targeting inflammation. Some children respond to easy options such as ibuprofen. Dr. Chang has seen some helped with prednisone, but treatment is tricky. There might be an occult infection, and PANS can present with psychiatric issues that prednisone can make worse, including depression and mania. Intravenous immunoglobulin is another of the many options, “but we really need about four treatments” to see if it helps. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family support also helps. As for psychotropic medication, “we often use them, but they rarely take away the acute symptoms,” and PANS children seem especially sensitive to side effects. “I’ve seen many of them become manic on SSRIs. I’ve seen some of them have very strong [extrapyramidal symptoms] with atypical antipsychotics. You have to be very careful; we don’t have any good studies” of psychiatric drugs in this population, he said. At the moment, PANS seems to be more common in boys than girls, and most patients have a relapsing/remitting course and a family history of autoimmune disease. Suicidal and homicidal ideation can be part of the condition. Dr. Chang believes PANS could be part of the overall increase in autoimmune disease and psychiatric disorders in children over the past few decades. “We have more kids who have special needs than ever before,” large, objective increases in bipolar, autism, and other psychiatric problems, as well as increases in psoriasis, nut allergies, and other autoimmune issues. “What causes it is harder to say, but there has been a change for sure in kids and their immune system development that does affect the brain, and has probably led to more neuropsychiatric disturbances,” he said. “No one talks about it. Everyone thinks that it’s some sort of pharmaceutical industry conspiracy” to sell more drugs by increasing scrutiny of children. “I think it’s caused by something in the environment interacting with genetics,” whether it’s infections, toxins, or something else. “We don’t know. Any kind of inflammation can be a trigger” and “we know inflammation” is key to “many psychiatric symptoms. I do think there’s something going on with kids over the last 30 years,” he said. Dr. Chang is a consultant for and/or has received research support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lilly, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, and other companies. aotto@frontlinemedcom.com
  12. 2 points
    jan251

    IVIG for untreated PANDAS

    Skin picking, trichotillomania, is indeed a common type of compulsion/OCD. Even if it's a tic, tics are likewise symptoms of PANS/PANDAS.
  13. 2 points
    My heart breaks to read this but I am also encouraged by a parent that is striving for healing and being that wonderful fighting advocate that these poor kids so very much need. I have two children. Both with difficult stories. Very similar to yours. Firstly, I will say there was no single organic reason for their fall . Everyone is different so for some its treat the lyme of mold and bingo the child heals. My oldest has the marks and we were told too that they were stretch marks . He is tired all the time, easily overwhelmed and tics. Our youngest was home-bound for years. What has worked for us? 1. Clean eating. They both have detox issues so every time we treated for Bartinella/Lyme they would fall apart on even the smallest herb or anti B. UHG So we could not do much. When they were at their worst they were very sensitive to yeast and Molds but as they healed Mold became less an issue. NOW Most foods they eat are organic, lots of veggies and fruits, grass fed beef and chix along with cold water fish 2x a week (good for brain inflammation) We removed Gluten/dairy/soy. The immunologist (conventional from big children's hospital) believes that certain kids suffer from innate immune responses from certain trigger foods and these three she found to cause inflammation effecting brain the most. Huge difference for my youngest especially. He is also supper super thin and she has him on amino acid plant based or bone broth based protein shakes between meals and we use high fat organic coconut milk in can. His mind began to clear in a few months just by cleaning up diet. 2. Having Bowel movements 2x a day helped their poor detox for sure. Increased pure water and actually used fiber powder for a while until they both go now 2x a day. 3. Good counseling because even if its caused by something outside of themselves the chemistry is still off and the OCD and anxieties/depression are there and by learning how to deal with these emotions better help's them navigate thru these horrible waters. As we treated our youngest son for Bart all his emotional issues (agoraphobia, Bi polar, OCD) disappeared. WE used low low low dose SSRI and nutritional lithium as well. WE continue to treat yeast, bart with herbs and cycles of 5 day Tinizidol for gut bacteria. Both are NOW able to handle the treatment bc their bodies are functioning better. Diet was a huge life style change and took me 3 years to finally own it and implement it. Best thing we ever did. Not the cure ALL but huge piece of the puzzle for us. Now not everything that comes our way causes them both to fall apart and start over. They are beginning to strengthen the terrain so that the genetic predispositions don't derail them at every turn. Keep searching, praying and never give up!!!
  14. 2 points
    castrum

    question for juwayriyah

    Hi Nrr Here is a site where you can buy Clerodendrum Inermis in USA http://www.kartuz.com/p/90153/Volkameria+inermis.html I`ll wait it help you.
  15. 2 points
    Clearly, you'd want to look for infections. I'd set up an appt with your pandas doc (or whoever; really, any doc who will do it) to run some bloodwork ASAP, both for infections and immune system stuff, IgG levels and so forth. In the meantime, I'd haul the kid off to the nearest urgent care for a swab and throat culture today. It seems to me that this sort of situation is to be expected with PANS/PANDAS.
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
    nrr

    question for juwayriyah

    Does anybody have any advice on how to get this plant in the US and also, if it will grow on the east coast where we sometimes have long winters. Will it grow indoors?
  18. 2 points
    gpookie

    LD vs HD IVIG

    We don't know. We just stopped again for the summer. We will check levels in August to see if levels held. They held in the normal rangenlast summer, but had fallen within the normal range. My kids have hypogammaglobulinemia, possible CVID, not confirmed CVID.
  19. 2 points
    gpookie

    LD vs HD IVIG

    We did HD on both boys in 20014. The worst PANDAS symptoms dissappeared over night and never came back. After 6 or so months, they kept getting sick with mild flaring and also flaring on exposure. ID specialist and immunologist discovered hypogammaglobulinemia, possible CVID. LD monthly (.5g/kg for 6 months, stop 3 then 6 more months) worked wonders. No more flares, even when ill and on exposure. LD was the best thing.
  20. 2 points
    jan251

    NEW PANS TREATMENT GUIDELINES

    Table and Text Excerpt from: “Treatment of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS)” SE Swedo (NIMH), J Frankovich (Stanford), TK Murphy (Univ S Florida) In press, Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology https://www.pandasppn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/PANS-Clinical-Care-Standards-for-Use-of-IVIG.pdf
  21. 2 points
    I want to make sure everyone gets this link to the Discover article "Hidden Invaders" on PANDAS. Someone posted about the article on this forum and now Discover has posted it online so it's easy to share. http://discovermagazine.com/2017/april-2017/hidden-invaders#.WQsk069P1mI.email
  22. 2 points
    Our son is a couple months from 11 now. He started the famous eye blinking at 8 and did the body jerks (arms, legs and some head) a couple months later. They waxed and waned for about 4 months then stopped. He still has some facial tics, mostly some eye blinking, then nose twitching and eye brow furrowing but the jerks never came back. Even now his tics are so minor no one but me seems to notice. He goes for months with nothing, the last week he has had some eye brow furrowing, but he has been playing games on his Game Boy and this seems to be a problem. This has been a long journey for (mostly me) us. Since this started, we have now have him gluten free, clean foods, Kids Calm and Bonnies TS Control vitamins. This program seems to work and he is about %95 tic free. Even when he does get a tic, it is only one and they typically last for a week to 10 days then stop. They will start back if he has anything with wheat or food with either artificial stuff and or chocolate. I have found Natural Remedies Tic Tamer to really settle the tics down a lot when he does get them. I believe he is growing out of the tics, he seems to have the less often and less severe the his original ones. I absolutely hate these tics, and even today with his eye furrowing, made me feel very depressed and mad. I have come to realize this is my problem. He gets upset if he sees me upset about his tics, but I don't think they bother him that much. He would rather play his games and eat candy (sometimes) and knows they will give him tics. I want him to be a kid, so I don't want him to have bad memories of these precious years. I am so glad he is getting a little older so he knows what will give him tics now. A little background: No family history of tics or TS He is very bright, no other commorbid issues. Never had any vocal tics yet They bug me way more then him His tics have made me love him more then I ever thought I was capable of, and I pray that one day he is over them. Until then, I have learned to take one day at a time. I use to have those butterflies in my stomach just waiting for him to get off the school bus hoping they would be hardly noticeable. I travel a lot and still ask my wife every night "how are his tics?" Not sure why I decided to write this, just felt compelled and hoped I could offer some help. I feel like I went through the darkest days of my life since my father passed away 11 years ago and will leave you with this: He will get better and so will you. Lenny
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