Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Genes Connection: TNF-a gene and PANDAS

Genes and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)


PANDAS has been found to often show up in family lineage. Identifying the root cause of this syndrome is pivotal for our children's future and grandchildren's future.

New Study: Association between pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections disease and tumor necrosis factor-α gene−308 g/a, −850 c/t polymorphisms in 4-12-year-old children in Adana/Turkey


Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) is a newly defined disease in neuropsychiatry and occurs with an autoimmune mechanism after Group A Beta Hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS) infection. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), encoded by TNF-α gene has an important role in the apoptotic mechanisms of autoimmune diseases. Recently, TNF-α polymorphisms and autoimmune/psychiatric disorders have been reported to be related. In this regard, we focused on to investigate a possible relation between the TNF-α gene promoter region−308 G/A and − 850 C/T polymorphisms and PANDAS.


This is small study of 38 children of Turkish descent identified a gene many nationalities carry. This TNF-a gene has been found to be related to many autoimmune diseases. When this gene is present, a child's immature immune system is even more likely to overreact during an infection. 


The research states: "...the most compelling aspect of our research is the finding that TNF-a -308 ...polymorphysim was detected in 86.5% of (PANDAS) patients but not in controls..."  


They also point out that damage to the psychiatric well being of children may increase if treatment is not administered. This gene rests on a "fragile site" in a chromosomal region which likely increases susceptibility issues to autoimmune illness.


Conclusion: They propose that TNF-α −308 AA polymorphism can be regarded as a definitive and molecular indicator of PANDAS, however  findings should be supported by further research on this issue.


To learn more about the TNF-a gene, visit