What is P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S.?:

 

P.A.N.S. stands for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. P.A.N.D.A.S. stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococci. Both are autoimmune conditions in which the immune system attacks the brain. The immune system penetrates the blood brain barrier and then mistakes the brain, specifically the basel ganglia for an infection such as strep or mycoplasma. This causes inflammation in the brain, which leads to a large number of diverse symptoms. These symptoms can be brought on overnight or gradually over a longer period. 

 

Symptoms:

 

 

This is a list of the primary symptoms. There are many more symptoms that may present but are not as common in every child. The symptoms can present differently in every child and exacerbation and vary in intensity. 

 

  • OCD

  • Tics or abnormal movements

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Abnormal sleeping patterns or sleep difficulties

  • Change in appetite including eating disorder, picky eating, eating more, or not being hungry

  • Headaches

  • Urinary frequency

  • Sensory sensitivities including sensitivity to light, sound, and touch

  • Personality changes

  • Separation anxiety

  • Irritability and aggression

  • Inability to concentrate or ADHD

  • Deterioration in learning abilities

  • Developmental and age regressions

  • Poor memory

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Hallucinations

  • Fight or flight response

  • Dilated pupils

 

 

Treatment:

 

 

P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S. can be treated through a number of methods depending on the child's presentation and severity. Effective treatments are antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and immune modulators. In order to properly treat P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S., you must treat the cause of the problem not the symptoms. This is why SSRIs, antipsychotics, and antidepressants do not work as well on their own, although these methods of treatment may be beneficial in supporting the main method of treatment. 

 

Main Treatment:
  • Antibiotics

  • Anti-inflammatories

  • Immune modulators

  • IVIg

  • Plasmapheresis

  • Steroids

 

Supporting Treatment:
  • Supplements

  • CBT/ERP therapy

  • Dietary restrictions including gluten or dairy free

 

Please feel free to contact us with any of your questions regarding P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S. on our contact page.

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