Monday, October 6, 2014

October 9 is PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day


Multiple states have officially proclaimed this day of awareness and acknowledged the need for educating the public and medical community about this autoimmune disorder. PANDAS is urging the public to help children be correctly diagnosed, have the opportunity to be treated, and put an end to unnecessary suffering. These devastating syndromes can no longer be ignored.

PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) and PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes) are devastating syndromes that are likely as prevalent as Pediatric Cancer and Pediatric Diabetes, yet awareness and education is scarce. Strep, walking pneumonia, viruses, Lyme, and other infections can trigger an autoimmune reaction resulting in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life changing symptoms such as OCD, anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, and more. These infections are often asymptomatic and go undetected. The autoimmune reaction can be stopped and symptoms are able to completely remit, but DIAGNOSIS and TREATMENT are necessary for this to happen.

According to the CDC, “It is estimated that 13 –20 percent of children living in the United States (up to 1 out of 5 children) experience a mental disorder in a given year.” ( Finding out the root cause for these symptoms is imperative. If the onset is a result of PANDAS/PANS, a child can possibly be saved from a lifetime of suffering.

This year, President Obama launched the BRAIN Initiative with the National Institute of Health. Research and awareness of PANDAS/PANS can be the gateway into new discoveries involving the Blood Brain Barrier and disorders involving the brain, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.

PANDAS ( is a 501c3 non-profit corporation dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANDAS/PANS.