PANDAS also known as PANS is an acronym for Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep Infections. The condition is a treatable autoimmune disorder that affects children with the average age of onset between 4 and 7 years. (It is possible that adolescents and adults may have immune mediated OCD, but this is not known.) The condition is believed to be triggered by an infection.
PANDAS/PANS occurs when the antibodies in the body has made to fight an infection mistakenly attack healthy tissue in the brain contributing to a host of movement disorders, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and abnormal neurologic behaviours.
Parents often describe the onset of symptoms as the day they “lost” their child. Typically the change is dramatic, with symptoms developing within a 24-48 hour period. The OCD symptoms and/or eating restrictions begin so suddenly that most parent can recall the exact day and time that the OCD or restrictive eating began.
- Vocal tics
- Motor tics
- Behavioural regression
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in handwriting
- Sensory abnormalities