The national TV show, Mystery Diagnosis, will highlight the plight of PANDAS syndrome this month on a family in Kennebunkport, Maine. It will air TONIGHT June 14, 2010 at 10:00 PM on Discovery Health Channel, but this disorder hits closer to home than you may think. A local Livingston teenager has suffered from symptoms leading to a PANDAS diagnosis this past winter.
Many researchers, including the National Institutes of Health, believe that PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections) occurs in some children when antibodies that are produced to fight a strep infection mistakenly attack the brain and trigger a sudden onset of behavioral disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tourette syndrome.
Worldwide, families are finding that seemingly normal kids can change almost overnight after being exposed to STREP. They have noticed how different their child acts after a sore throat. They seem hyperactive, moody and they keep blinking their eyes. The child becomes very particular about the way they do certain things. Their teachers say that they are not paying attention in class, and they're having trouble reading the student's writing.
The child may have developed what the medical community has named PANDAS. Basically, it means that when the body's defences are trying to attack the Streptococcal bacteria causing the sore throat, there is some degree of mistaken identity and it also attacks parts of the brain. Some children never have a sore throat, so the parents have no idea the children ever contracted strep.
Affected children can have any combination of the following symptoms:
• Cognitive inflexibility, difficult to reason with, as if stuck on an idea,
• Obsessive/repetitive/compulsive argumentative behaviors,
• TICS (repetitive vocalizations or body movements),
• Tourette Syndrome,
• Attention deficits and oppositional/defiant behaviors,
• Eating disoders,
• Frequent urination,
The diagnosis and treatment of PANDAS may surprise you. To localize this national story please contact me to learn about our discovery and struggles with PANDAS Syndrome.
What: PANDAS Syndrome
Where: Livingston, NJ
Why: To help educate others about this prevalent disorder How: The result of a STREP Infection Resources: There are many resources available on the internet that may be helpful. Please use your best judgment when accessing such information.