Image Credit – http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/11/autism-and-pandas-.html
Does your child have PANDAS?
PANDAS stands for ‘Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections’.
The common term you are most familiar with for the Streptococcal infection is Strep throat. The child’s brain result in a misdirected autoimmune response which
start to attack brain cells. This attack then triggers an inflammation in the brain.
PANDAS is not currently classified as encephalitis, but it is known as an Encephalitic-like Sudden Onset in acute case.
Although various experts may vary on PANDAS statistics, the PANDAS network states that children who have experienced PANDAS are approximately 1 in every 200. The average age of onset is between 4 and 7 years old. One thing all experts agree on is that the normal functioning child disappears while PANDAS is active.
PANDAS Symptoms Observed:
- Post streptococcal infections (Strepthroat)
- Dramatic rapid onset OCD (obsessive-compulsive epsisodes)
- Intense anxiety
- Mood swings
- Vocal & motor tics
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Behavior changes
- Personality changes
- Decline in mathematics
- Decline in handwriting abilities
- Sensory sensitivities
- Restrictive eating
A PANDAS child can become near catatonic and ultimately home bound. Others will be able to function in school, but fall apart for hours on end once they are home.
Symptoms tend to increase during an active infectious process.
All symptoms are a direct barometer of a child’s brain dysfunction.
PANDAS Onset Pattern:
Onset may take as many as 4 to 6 months before the onset of PANDAS symptoms show up. This is especially true when the antibiotics didn’t quite kill off the overgrowth of
streptococcal bacteria. Pediatricians do not know the variability of how long it takes PANDAS to come to the surface.
Rheumatologists and Streptococcal Experts seem to have a deeper understanding of the onset and latency of PANDAS.
The recovery period for PANDAS varies. PANDAS symptoms may vary in intensity and number from weeks to years, but over time have been known to lessen in in some cases totally disappear.
If there is no known strepptococcal infection that was present for the child the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) states that the PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset
Neuropsychiatric Syndromes) should be considered.
It is important that the set of symptoms do not represent another diagnosis.
Antiobiotics tend to cause a moderate to dramatic improvement with PANDAS children after about 1 week of treatment. How to stop the entire syndrome is still debated, but many parents and doctors report prolonged antibiotics (two months to one year) and/or IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) treatment or plasmapheresis.
You can learn more about PANDAS at Source: http://pandasnetwork.org/
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