PANS/PANDAS in children
PANS is an acronym for Pediatric Acute onset Neuropsychiatric syndrome and is a clinical diagnosis given to children and adolescences who develop a sudden onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), food restriction and/or anxiety, hyperactivity and tics.
PANDAS is a sub-type of PANS and is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with Streptococcal infections.
The clinical presentation of both PANS and PANDAS can be very similar however PANDAS is associated with infection specifically with streptococcal in contrast to PANS which can be triggered by a number of different types of infections or environmental factors (toxins).
Acute or sudden onset of symptoms is a key characteristic of the development of PANS/PANDAS however parents often report that the child previously had sub-clinical or mild symptoms of anxiety, OCD and/or tics.
Other symptoms that may co-exist with PANS/PANDAS:
Partial seizure like symptoms
Gastrointestinal (digestive) complaints
Symptom flare around infections
In the initial consultation a comprehensive case history inclusive of current and past health in combination with past and most recent testing results contribute to assessment of presenting symptoms. It is important to investigate all possible causes to symptom presentation as there can be overlaps between other conditions commonly seen in children. A variety of clinical testing may be recommended or requested to help guide diagnosis of underlying causes and treatment options. Treatment options involve the use of evidence-based functional nutritional medicine, herbal medicine, dietary interventions and lifestyle strategies. All recommended treatment options are safe and are informed by evidence based research.