Diagnoses & Conditions


Understanding PANS/PANDAS

Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) is a disorder characterized by the sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCD) or eating restrictions, along with acute behavioral deterioration. Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) is a subset of PANS. These disorders are thought to be an autoimmune problem, which is when the immune system malfunctions and creates antibodies that attack and cause damage to a part of the body (in this case, the nerve cells).

Symptoms of PANS/PANDAS

Symptoms of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) include sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCD) or severely restricted food intake and neuropsychiatric abnormalities (for example, anxiety, irritability, aggression, sudden decrease in school performance, depression, sleep disturbances, bed-wetting). PANDAS may include disabling tics (sudden twitches, movements, or sounds done repeatedly).

Diagnosing PANS/PANDAS

PANS/PANDAS is diagnosed by clinical exam and features. PANDAS is associated with Streptococcus infection and laboratory tests may be performed to detect current or past infection. It is believed PANS may be triggered by an infection. PANDAS first becomes evident between the ages of 3 years and puberty. There is no age requirement with PANS.


Treatment may consist of anti-infectives to treat infection, anti-inflammatories and behavioral counseling. Treatment of moderate to severe PANS/PANDAS may include immune globulin therapy administered into the blood stream intravenously (IVIG).


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