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PANDAS, PANS, Pediatric, Autoimmune, Neurological
Disorder, Streptococcus, Anxiety, OCD, Antibiotic

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Author's Noteors Note

PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. This neurological disorder can initially affect children from the age of three to puberty, and sometimes beyond. More boys than girls become afflicted with this disorder at a ratio of approximately 2:1 to 3:1. Strep bacteria prompt dysfunctional antibodies to invade the basal ganglia of the brain, instead of fighting the strep itself. This results in a plethora of unusual and alarming symptoms. In addition to strep, bacteria such as mycoplasma and Lyme, and viruses fall under the new umbrella term, PANS, which is an acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. Other disorders that may stem from PANDAS/PANS are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Tourette’s Syndrome (TS), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID). It is important to note that PANDAS/PANS have dramatic and acute onsets, which differentiates them from the disorders mentioned above. A delay in proper diagnosis and treatment can rob the child of their childhood. Quick intervention with the appropriate antibiotic for an appropriate course of treatment is paramount in halting this disorder.



I woke up one morning and nothing felt right!

I was scared but I didn’t know why and couldn’t really explain it to my parents.

I felt worried and nervous.

Then, I started crying and couldn’t stop.



I was eight and a half years old and I did not want to go to school!

I sat in my mom’s lap and stayed very close to her whenever she left the room because it felt like something bad was going to happen.

She held me close and sang lullabies and Christmas carols.

This made me feel a little better.

But, I knew something was still really wrong.



Antibiotic: a drug used to kill bacteria and prevent disease

Antibodies: proteins in the blood that react to foreign proteins, neutralizing and producing immunity against them

Anxiety: an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty or nervousness

Autoimmune: when the immune system attacks one’s own body

Bacteria: microorganisms that cause disease

Immune system: the body’s ‘army’ of blood cells that fight infection or resist disease

Intravenous Immune globulin: a procedure that boosts your immune system by giving you donor Immune globulin or antibodies

Lyme: a disease caused by the Lyme tic

Mycoplasma: a bacteria that causes walking pneumonia

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: persistent intrusive thoughts and/or repetitive movements

PANDAS: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus

PANS: Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome

Plasma: liquid portion of blood that contains antibodies

Plasmapheresis: a procedure that removes plasma from blood, which contains antibodies, and replaces it with donor plasma or a substitute

Streptococcus: bacteria that usually infects the throat or other areas, also referred to as strep

Symptoms: signs of change on the body’s functions or appearance

Throat Culture: throat swab to determine presence of streptococcus

Tourette’s Syndrome: tic disorder

Virus: any variety of microscopic organisms that cause disease that cannot be treated with antibiotics


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