PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infection. It is an autoimmune condition initially triggered by strep infections, which disrupts a child’s normal neurologic activity. PANDAS occurs when the immune system produces antibodies, intended to fight an infection, and instead mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the child’s brain, resulting in inflammation of the brain (basal ganglia section) and inducing a sudden onset of movement disorders, neuropsychiatric symptoms and abnormal neurologic behaviors. PANDAS is a treatable disorder that occurs seemingly overnight and can cause debilitating symptoms in children and adolescents. The average age of onset is between 4 and 7 years old. Also, it appears to be more common in boys. PANDAS is characterized by an abrupt onset of obsessive-compulsive behaviors (OCD) and/or motor or vocal tics in pre-pubescent children immediately following a group A Strep (GAS) infection. These symptoms are extreme and interfere with a child’s daily life. Unfortunately, children and adolescents suffering from PANDAS often go unrecognized or are misdiagnosed. Medical professionals who are not familiar with this condition may attribute the personality changes to rebellious developmental stages, or even poor parenting. The NIH has reported extensively on PANS: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2012/possible-causes-of-sudden-onset-ocd-in-kids-broadened.shtml Learn more by watching this Video!

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