Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment Of PANDAS

When a child falls ill, it can be one of the most challenging situations to cope with as a parent. This is especially true if you are unsure what’s causing the illness. Thankfully, many childhood illnesses are mild and clear up in a relatively short period. They also tend to present with symptoms that aren’t too worrisome. 

Some infections that can be common in children, including strep throat and scarlet fever, are caused by streptococcus, a type of bacteria. Kids are generally more likely to develop strep throat than adults. After a child has recovered from strep throat, they usually return to their healthy selves. However, some children may develop conditions known as pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders, or PANDAS. But what is PANDAS, and how does it affect children? Read on to learn more about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of PANDAS.

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Laboratory Testing For Identifying PANDAS

PANDAS stands for “Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections”. PANDAS is typically diagnosed when a child has a strep infection and develops other disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a tic disorder, or both. If a child already has either one of these disorders, a strep infection that makes them worse could also be considered PANDAS. 

When symptoms develop, they do so quite suddenly. For example, a child may be completely fine when they go to bed at night and wake up with dramatic symptoms such as vocal or motor tics, new compulsions, or obsessions. Other signs of PANDAS can include anxiety attacks, separation anxiety, and irritability. It can be hard to determine if a child has PANDAS because there is no single test available – it takes quite a lot of investigation to come to a positive diagnosis. So how does laboratory testing for identifying PANDAS work? Read on to learn more.

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