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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/29/2013 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    I am checking as the mom much farther down the road to be a help, if I can. My daughter was diagnosed in November 2012. This is our five year anniversary with this disease and there is HOPE for all of your kids. This is long but please read: With one of the most profound and difficult to treat cases to ever treat - my daughter is staring community college in the spring! You name the symptom and she has exhibited it - to name a few... complex tics, anorexia, bed wetting, mutism, depression, OCD, sleep disorders, a host of psychiatric symptoms (including schizoprhenic type symptoms including violence), and catatonia. She has also had every treatment - countless antibiotics, IVIVGs, rituximab, cell cept, prophylactic antibiotix, cytoxan, tociluzimab. We lost four years of life - she lost high school, and I shut down ever yaspect of life to take care of her. It has been lonely, frustrating, difficult, depressing...and yet hopeful, strengthening, funny, and finally TRIUMPHANT. I am repositing something a wrote in 2015 to give you all some encouragement and some general advice - especially to parents of children who are most severely affected. After I wrote this my daughter's trajectory slowed, but we found tociluzumab was the treatment that finally rounded out her recovery and though she still has some memory loss and is still making her way back academically. We know that she is going to have a NORMAL LIFE. Just a year ago, I thought she would always be with us, never have a job, never have friends...and now she is learning to drive and starting college classes (with a little support from special services) in a few weeks. Now she is running, swimming, laughing, talkative, and back to her old self - volunteering at a local library and worried about her hair and makeup (you have no idea what a big deal that is). Remember that every child presents differently and the part of the autoimmune system that is affected - and therefore the treatment that works - is different for each child. That said, PM me or ask me here and I will try to start checking in now that I too have my own life back. Hang in there....it will get better... Here is the 2015 post. My daughter has one of the most severe and drug-resistant cases of what falls under the big umbrella of a strep-induced autoimmune disorder that left her with severe neurological and significant joint involvement. For those who don't remember us, my daughter was an exceptional student and athlete, and world's happiest and easy child to raise - until the bottom fell out two years ago. In a matter of a days she suddenly and frighteningly developed Sydenham's chorea, tics, mutism, mood swings, joint pain and swelling. aversions, delusions, rage and host of other heart-breaking symptoms. It has been a tremendously challenging road and so as an unwilling seasoned veteran here is the advice I am giving to anyone who thinks their child has PANDAS, PANS, LYME or any other unusual/frustrating unnamed condition. 1. Do NOT waste time. The first time you see symptoms that do not clear up permanently after a round of antibiotics, get real help. Any of the symptoms I have described indicate your child has neurological inflammation. For the majority of kids, this could mean your child has cross-reacting antibodies, that are attacking your child's healthy tissues. For many kids this could involve brain, heart or joint problems so you absolutely need to rule out any potential damage, especially heart involvement (this was the one potential result our daughter had). The longer you go, the more damage that can result and the harder it will be to treat. This means: 2. Your child has a PHYSICAL disease with psychiatric symptoms resulting from inflammation so you need the right specialists. If your child has recurrent or ongoing flares after antibiotic treatment, and you are only seeing a psychiatrist or PANDAS doctor who has not done a full spectrum of physical diagnostics (MRI, heart ultrasound, tests for Lyme, allergies, inflammatory markers, titers, etc.) then ask your pediatrician for a pediatric neurologist referral. Remember this is PHYSICAL. I can't emphasize this enough: If you can, go see a neurologist and an immunologist. 3. It's not in a name, so don't get stuck with a label. I know we all want that relief/satisfaction of saying my child has "PANDAS" or some other condition, but that can predispose physicians to start treating before a real diagnosis and plan is put forth. For example, we ran off immediately to USF for PANDAS evaluation, at which they gave us some surveys, talked to us and then tossed us some antibiotics with a diagnosis of PANDAS. Not one physical diagnostic test was done and we were foolish to go along with that. In time, they would have ramped up to IVIG, etc....but I would never have known that my daughter could have had heart damage. For those wanting a name., honestly, ( For the math-minded I think we are talking about a spectrum of autoimmune diseases that could be plotted on a coordinate plane of X and symptoms on Y, to find that our kids are scattered all over the place) I think there are as many names for these diseases as there are kids. Just call it, "Insert your child's name here" disease. I am kidding - but also not. The many presentations of these diseases explain why they sound akin to others (like Lupus) and yet different when we talk to each other here. Also, never mention diagnosis to insurance providers. Many are looking for reasons to reject claims so let your doctors and insurance companies play the coding game. 4. Take meticulous notes regarding symptoms.Take pictures and video even at bad times. Trust me, you will forget. Look for subtle things like handwriting and appetite changes, sleeping changes, expression of unusual ideas, reduced speech. When first met our neurologist, I came in not with a disease name but a table of symptoms, date of onset, severity and frequency. I wanted them to diagnose without predisposition. 5. Don't worry about the bandaids - yet. I know a lot of us sweat everything from glutens, to certain amino acids to micronutrients. Until you rule out allergies, known genetic deficiencies....don't lie awake at night and wonder whether or not you are missing some esoteric piece of the puzzle. Feed your child well, make sure they are getting plenty of vitamin D (low is usually indicative of a chronic inflammatory process), and as many nutrients as they can from real food. You are a good parent, and while the little things will help along with a healthy lifestyle, there is no magic pill. Proper diagnostics will eliminate a lot of concern about allergies and root causes so you don't waste a fortune in time and money trying this and that. We are desperate and vulnerable so read everything with a critical eye. 6. Trust your gut and assert yourself. I went to FOUR doctors and had three ER visits with my daughter, shaking my head and respectfully telling them we were moving on when they told me she was probably just depressed. WRONG. (Tangents: I think our world, present and past is full of kids who are under-diagnosed for physical problems, and there is NO difference between mental health and health. It's just health). 7. Your child is not your child. There is no way that sweet baby of yours would ever do the things he/she is doing if he/she was healthy. Easier said than done - but do not take it personally. That said, reasonable consequences apply. If your child is having severe outbursts, you have to remind yourself: THIS IS THE DISEASE. Say it like a mantra if you have to. 8. Get healthy and fit. I have had to care for my daughter for two years 24/7. Most of you will not be like that. It's going to try your body, mind and spirit. It's going to be hard so you need to be battle prepared. At times, you are going to be scared, angry, tired, frustrated and lonely so you are going to need to be at your best like no other time in your life. Get sleep and don't worry if there are fingerprints on the appliances and the car needs vacuuming. My family has learned that no matter what, I am taking an hour a day to run or surf. 9. Get brave and tough.. People closest to you are going to hurt your feelings, and give you unwanted advice. Head them off at the pass and tell them that you are on top of all the research and protocols (you need to be), that this is going to be stressful, that you are so grateful for their support, but that the things you can't have them do include _______. For me, it was advice on how to parent...like when my daughter would be defiant, or when I chose to keep her out of the public eye when her tics and chorea were severe. Doing that up front will save all of you a lot of misunderstandings down the road. The "Loving but Uninformed" in your life will give you some bizarre advice at times; take it in the spirit in which they meant it. At the same time, get soft. For me, this meant learning to accept help from other people. I have always prided myself in being able to be self-reliant, being able to do it all, but with this spectrum of disease - forget it. I have learned that letting people help is not a sign of weakness, but an acceptance of kindness that can really make a difference. The people around you who really care want to help. Let them. 10. Slow down the clock. You aren't going to get it all done. At times you are going to be late to school. Sometimes you won't get to a place at all. You might even miss a major life event like a close friend's wedding, or as it is in my case...your chid might even miss a year of school. It will work out. 11. Read it all, get informed, stay on top of it...and then walk away at times. You cannot live and breathe this everyday without becoming obsessed in an unhealthy way. My daughter loathes it that I pick up on every tic, and my husband got tired of my talking through the study results in the third standard deviation for the sample size of 12 for the methylation of a certain gene expression (whoa, sexy AND romantic) when we crawled into bed at night. (The main reason I come and go from this website .) 12. Go out at a minimum of twice a month for the evening. The only rule: Thou shall not talk about thy child or thy child's disease. Also keep something out there a month or two away to look forward to...beach, trip to parents, buying a new sofa, camping trip. Finally, don't forget the healthy siblings and your SO. As much of a nut as I am about healthy eating, sometimes a little love and acknowledgement is as easy as a box of walnut brownies that can be mixed and tossed in the oven in two minutes...with a PostIt note alongside. After two years of IVIG, Cellcept, Rixtuximab and Cytoxan, we are finally knocking down the world's most persistent immune system and our daughter is slowly getting better. Chorea is gone, tics gone, OCD gone, moods better, tremors gone, ataxia gone, mutism gone, catatonia gone, sleep patterns good, aversions gone, eating well, engaging with the family, smiling, laughing and has some quality of life. Long story short: Treat physically and if a child like ours (who is probably one of a handful of the most profound expressions ever on this disease spectrum) can get fully back on the happy and healthy track - yours will too.
  2. 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!
  3. 2 points
    maryangela

    Adult PANDAS doctor in Chicago?

    Donald Raden, MD is an Integrative Psychiatrist in Highwood, IL. His practice is called the Raden Wellness Center. My son (age 13) has been under Dr. Raden’s care for 1 year. He saved my son’s life. He treats many young adults with PANDAS. My son’s case was severe.
  4. 2 points
    kos_mom

    Tonight's Chicago Med episode

    I contacted PANDAS Network right after the episode. This morning I received this response from Diana Pohlman: "We heard from lots of parents and 600 innundated the producers email. We are following up with an email to the producers as well. Happily 20-20 is doing a great story on REAL TREATMENT mid May and that will be on ABC." NBC is the producer for Chicago Med.
  5. 2 points
    MomWithOCDSon

    Help....when to be admitted?

    Oh my, I'm so sorry! Your son's description of how he's feeling reminds me vividly of Susannah Cahalan's description of her own auto-immune illness in "Brain on Fire." She, too, experienced paranoia and some other symptoms that many traditional doctors would all too readily dismiss as solely psychiatric manifestations, dispensing with the underlying physical issues. If your son is a danger to himself or to others, you will need to get him immediate help; if that means the hospital, then it's the hospital. Unfortunately, I think it likely that you should expect to be met with some psychiatric interventions -- tranquilizers, at a minimum -- if he presents as agitated or full-on delusional at admissions. You may have reached a crossroads where the abx are insufficient for meeting his illness adequately. Can you get a PANDAS/PANS specialist on board? I know a number of families here have allowed short-term and periodic use of anti-psychotics or tranquilizers (Valium, Seroquel, etc.), just to get there kids calm enough to travel for help, and/or to give the kid and the whole family a break and some sleep. I'm not advocating that, necessarily, but you have to do what works in order to give your kid their best chance at a route which leads to the best healing. Hang in there. Hopefully, someone else will chime in with more direct experience that may resonate with your situation.
  6. 2 points
    Fiddlegrl -- Welcome to the forum, though I'm sorry for all you've been through and the issues you're still fighting. I will say that I've been with this forum for many years now...first during my DS's illness and healing, and then somewhat less frequently for the last few years, checking in to follow up on old friends and any new research, and to chime in when something resonates with my experience. Pretty much ALL of the symptoms you've described, unfortunately, have been discussed here as part of the PANs/PANDAs continuum. It stinks. I don't have any practical experience with respect to Lyme and its co-infections; my DS's syndrome was clearly strep-related, though seasonal allergies exacerbated inflammation and the immune response for a number of years, once the PANDAs had kicked into high gear. Like you, though, we believe his behavioral issues were tied to atypical strep infections potentially as young as 3 years of age, though certainly by the age of 6 when he was officially given an OCD diagnosis. But he never tested positive (via swab and culture) for strep at the time, and no local doctors would give us the time of day regarding PANDAs then, either, so he went without any real treatment until he hit 12. That's when the PANDAs brought him to an absolutely non-functional state, the research coming out of NIMH, Columbia and Dr. Cunningham had progressed, and we were finally able to talk someone into an antibiotic trial. It was a long road, but the rest, as they say, is now thankfully pretty much history. As a result of our experience, though, I do think it likely that PANDAS/PANs sufferers who are at a more advanced age before receiving immune and/or anti-inflammatory therapies may have a harder road with respect to healing and "bouncing back;" not sure if that's because the brain "wiring" has matured more in the interim, or if the chronic inflammatory and auto-immune responses in the body are somehow more entrenched and therefore harder to reverse. In the end, it took my DS about 5 years in total to return to pretty much full functionality, and that was with auto-immune, therapeutic and psychiatric interventions all thrown into the mix. He continues to contend with some OCD and situational anxiety now and again, and I'm not convinced that this will ever disappear completely. But those issues remain at manageable levels (knock on wood), and he's happy and healthy and constructive and functional. Pretty much all we could ask for, after what he went through. I'm not sure how to advise you on any possible next steps, really, except to suggest that perhaps exploring some additional genetic markers and methylation issues might help you for the long term? You mentioned genetic testing for porphyria, but did you get a full work-up? A search here on the forum for "methylation" and "mutations" will lead you to multiple discussions regarding the methylation cycle and how genetic testing has helped point some families to a regimen of supplements and/or medications that proved to be more effective for them in light of various mutations and genetic predispositions. Perhaps that's worth a try? Finding a well-versed LLMD and/or integrative physician who could be your partner in working through these issues would be a bonus. Your post was very well-written, so I'm picturing an intelligent, capable and fairly "together" young woman, so I sincerely hope you're finding moments of joy and contentment in your everyday life, despite this tremendous burden. All the best to you!
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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 ;-).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 2 points
    lysia

    Do symptoms change after puberty?

    I am an adult female. I was never diagnosed with any mental illness as a child, as my parents addressed any psychological issues as solely behavioral problems to be disciplined. That being said, I suffered from very severe OCD symptoms that (I suspect) **might have been a result of PANDAS. [As this was never diagnosed nor treated, it is purely personal seculation based on the symptomology and relative timeline of exposure to streptococcus- I also share other speculations as to possible causes for the disorder, though mostly suspect the former.] I can say that for myself; the OCD began to dissipate very significantly after puberty and continued to do so over the years. I have no significant nor any life debilitating symptoms remaining of OCD whatsoever. The most debilitating and severe period of OCD that I had was between the ages of about (I think) 7-12. However, the habitual thought patterns that I had developed in my brain during that time (mind you with no counseling/medication or understanding of it as a disorder whatsoever) did take a significant amount of years to fully recover; therein many behaviors still remained. I say this because I do believe that it is highly possible that the neurophysiological OCD had in fact been mostly if not wholly eradicated during the pubescent period in which I would had been experiencing many hormonal and chemical changes in the brain possibly countering or overwhelming some others. (Again- this is much personal speculation.) Nonetheless, because OCD is what it is, I find it impossible to consider these behaviors would disappear at the same time. Gradually they did go away. I imagine then on came bigger problems of being a teenager and every little bit by bit the tics and compulsions and obsessions did dissipate. I was VERY secretive of rituals (tapping/counting/hoarding/maaany others) and did them in a way not to be seen. Because of this and that whatever my parents might had known was never pronounced to me as a "mental disorder", I credit my ignorance to having an actual illness in a way to having had allowed me to recover; as there was no stigma or added obsession (i was highly obsessed with everything) that I was handicapped with a psychological ailment. In a way, the denial around me helped. This is NOT to diminish that as a whole, however I suffered far more severely because of it. But it is worth noting i think that sometimes less attention may help with recovery. Overall of course, a child needs their mother so much, and for one with ocd- they really need their mom. I love my parents who did just as they felt best, but during that time (that to this day I remember SO well as being so truly horrifying for me), I didn't have that. I was so extremely confused, shameful, scared, and exhausted. And so incredibly isolated. I am so grateful pediatric illnessness like these are finally recognized and kids now can have amazing mothers like you who are on their side of the struggle with them rather than at the other end of it. No child should have to feel so shamed, scared, and alone. Illness, treatments, recoveries and even regressions are just as any other experiences and trials of life. They are part of each individuals journey into becoming the person they are meant to be. And children are (be them healthy/disabled/'normal'..whatever) absolutely beautiful and perfect every step of the way. This is what I wish my mother would had said to me. So i could have understood that I'm not my illness, but my strength to battle this is part of what makes me so incredible and builds my character into the fantastic person I am to become. (Of course- this and also 'lets see a psychiatrist and get treatment'), but all the same Sorry about the tangent! I came about writing this commenr ( now... memoir) in searching this subject in Google just now out of random curiosity while reflecting upon my past. When I saw your q, I felt I just had to respond with hope because my google search q was: "my pandas ocd gone after puberty". When I read this, I was so inspired by you and what you are doing for your child. Asking these questions, treating her, and being in the fight along side with her. I joined just so I could write this to you to thank you for what you are doing for her and to send the hope to u both that it absolutely goes away. I can only imagine how exhausting and challenging it could be for a parent. But can also know first hand how horrible it is to have the illness, and to go it alone as a kid is beyond awful. So that's it, really. BLESS you mom for taking care of your girl and it absolutely does get better, as I feel that indeed post pubescence changed everything. So yes- hope is there and she WILL recover. I had a fantastic time by high school being ocd free (mind you tendencies there but I feel this is a bit of personal brain wiring and takes lots of time and work . It was NOT like it was before puberty). Keep being the AMAZING kick mom you are. I'm so SO happy she has you. Just needed to respond. [[**As a side note: in respect to the other comment made by a parent in which i felt some ocd kids might be getting stigmatized by the illness and certain behaviors are being either dismissed or over addressed as psych symptoms when in fact they are either one of 2 things: an unrelated call for help or personal struggle environmentally that isn't to do with ocd, or otherwise just a very healthy response to stresses of puberty. I wanted to throw out the fact that nearly every pubescent child/young adult/teen are often incomprehensibly 'nuts by nature' too! Please consider it's a crazy time for them (thier brains, bodies, self identy, sense of life..) and the healthiest girl during puberty can be a total weirdo obsessive anxious nightmare of a kid too I wouldnt had wanted my parents to say to me it was the 'ocd' every time I acted out (either by way of empathizing/diminishing/ reprimanding or whatever) and I could be horrid at times. I fear it would had kept the obsession for me longer and I would had never believed I would be rid of it. . Maybe i would had even used it as an excuse to get away with bad behavior which would had also drawn self identity to ocd and inhibited recovery . A BIG part of breaking this very strong mental lock is to forget it whenever possible. And it is VERY hard to do, but a beautiful thing when it happens. And each instance builds into healing. Sometimes it is rare and fleeting. Sometimes it is overwhelmed by something else negative (like even some nutty teen drama being created). I would just hate a reminder if it wasn't on my brain already. So i say, if they are being teen brats and it is not 100% textbook symptomatic of OCD, then dont call them out on having a psychological illness, call them out for being brats! (Just my opinion)]]. Good luck to you and your amazing kid. You're really a hero to me. Truly. Much love.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!!!
  19. 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.
  20. 2 points
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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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