Your child appears to have modified overnight. Their fears, behaviors, and actions are similar to an obsessive-compulsive disorder, but they’re now wetting the bed, getting pickier about food, and struggling at school. What’s happening? Well, it could be PANDAS or PANS, two autoimmune disorders that create a sudden onset of OCD symptoms. But, regardless of opposite belief, PANDAS and PANS don’t solely happen in children. It additionally happens in adults and seniors, and it’s extra common than you might think. Therefore, let’s dive in to learn about its signs, symptoms, and treatment choices to assist you or a loved one obtain the assistance they deserve.
What Are PANDAS and PANS?
Imagine a child doing well in school, at home, and with their peers. Then, almost overnight, they start behaving like a different person. Their as soon as sociable nature is now aggressive, depressed, or anxious. And behaviors like washing their hands repeatedly, forgetting how to full their school work, and even bed-wetting are all out of character, however their new norm. Unfortunately, these conditions are examples of how PANDAS and PANS may have an effect on your child or loved one.
PANS (Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome) and PANDAS (Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome related to streptococcus) are each autoimmune disorders that disrupt neurological functioning.
PANDAS and PANS are very similar, with a few key differences. For example, children with PANS expertise a drastic onset of OCD symptoms, whereas PANDAS may take 2-3 days for signs to manifest. Another important distinction is the cause. PANS can be triggered by various infections, whereas to obtain a diagnosis of PANDAS, a child should test positive for a recent streptococcal infection.
However, each disorders trigger extreme neurological signs that create misery for each the children and the household dynamic. Let’s check out these signs to know what to look out for, and the way they may impact your child.
19 Symptoms of PANDAS and PANS
The indicators and signs vary from person to person, however happen suddenly. Indeed, some parents even report their children altering drastically overnight. Common indicators and signs include;
- Tics and repetitive movements
- Mood swings
- New sleeping difficulties
- New bedtime fears
- Decreased school performance
- Changes in memory
- Dilated pupils
- Hallucinations (visual/auditorial)
- Uncontrollable crying or laughing
- New mattress wetting or frequent urination
- Separation anxiety or clingier than usual
- Behavioral regression – child talk, sucking on thumb
- Sensory sensitivities to light, touch, noise or clothes
- Sudden trouble with fine motor skills like handwriting
- Selective consuming or new meals preferences, new fears about food, eating/choking
2 Causes of PANDAS and PANS
Experts believe PANDAS and PANS happen after an issue with the immune system’s ability to fight off an infection.
- Several factors can trigger a misdirected immune response in PANS together with neurological issues, inflammatory reactions, and infections like chickenpox, the flu and Lyme illness to name a few.
- PANDAS is a subset of PANS and happens in response to streptococcus pyogenes additionally known as group A strep (GAS). This type of micro organism assaults the nervous system inflicting signs to seem throughout or after an infection, however not all children who come into contact with this bacterium get PANDS.
If your child or loved one tests positive for PANDAS and PANS, a healthcare skilled will create a three-step treatment plan. This plan includes treating symptoms, eradicating the inflammatory source, and treating the immune system problem.
7 PANDAS and PANS Treatment Options
1. Antibiotic therapy
Providing antibiotics is step one to treating each disorders. The antibiotics deal with the underlying an infection and strengthen the immune system. However, whereas some children may dramatically enhance almost as quickly because the signs began, some want additional therapies to deal with lingering behavioral symptoms.
2. Cognitive behavior therapy
Once doctors goal the irritation source, they can start treating the behavioral symptoms. For example, to handle the OCD signs such as tics, obsessions, and temper swings, many psychological well being professionals advise sufferers to undergo cognitive behavior therapy. This remedy additionally helps household members and household members learn coping skills to deal with the sudden onset of signs and any future concerns.
3. Mood stabilizers
Many doctors with expertise treating PANDAS and PANS don’t typically prescribe medication. However, if the dysfunction persists for a prolonged time, they may prescribe a low dose of SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to deal with the OCD and anxiety symptoms.
IVIG (intravenous immunoglobin) involves treating the immune system dysregulation. It helps with a number of autoimmune illnesses, and with PANDAS specifically, it reduced the OCD signs by 82% in a small sample. While effective, IVIG is solely recommended for extreme or long-term cases. It is fairly expensive, usually not covered by insurance, and can be emotionally taxing on the child.
Steroids, particularly corticosteroids, can be beneficial for children who expertise an abrupt onset of symptoms. However, like temper stabilizers, it may not be recommended for younger children due to possible side effects, together with aggression and mania. But regardless of these risks, studies discovered it really works well short-term with PANS and different autoimmune disorders.
6. Special diet
Other treatment choices include placing a child on a strict gluten-free diet. Research shows gluten can be inflammatory, and reducing or eliminating it entirely may promote antibodies, strengthen the immune system, and reduce irritation of the infection.
7. Early detection
The course of of detecting PANS can be a irritating and prolonged process. For example, many doctors don’t have expertise with PANDAS and PANS and may misdiagnose the OCD signs as a psychiatric disorder. To guarantee your child receives early detection and treatment, you ought to record their signs and discover if their behaviors change suddenly. For example, keep a watchful eye out for any changes of their school work, personality, fears, and daily interactions. If so, it’s worth looking into whether or not PANDAS and PANS could additionally be the reason.
Above all, in case your child has PANDAS and PANS, it may really feel like a nightmare. Symptoms happen almost overnight, and the road to restoration can be challenging. But treatment is available, it’s not a lifelong condition, and there is hope for your loved ones and loved ones.
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