PANDAS syndrome is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. The condition is associated with obsessive compulsive disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The symptoms are linked to the development of strep throat.
Cause Doctors are unsure of the cause of PANDS syndrome. They have found that some children develop it during an onset of strep throat. The body, in an attempt to attack the streptococcal bacteria, instead attacks the brain. The condition is exclusive to children.
Symptoms PANDAS syndrome symptoms include tics, which are movements that the child is unable to control. The tics may appear as blinking, guttural noises or the child may unconsciously repeat the same phrase. Children may also have trouble being separated from parents or loved ones and may be more irritable, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Treatment Doctors may treat Pandas syndrome with therapy and medication that is used to treat people with obsessive compulsive disorder. Penicillin is sometimes used to treat strep throat and can kill strep's bacteria. The medication does nothing to halt the antibodies that that body develops in result of the onset of strep.
Diagnosis There is no single test that is used to diagnose PANDS syndrome, but doctors check to see if the child suspected of having the syndrome meets certain criteria. For example the child may have symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder, tics or OCD, have had the group A-beta hemolytic streptococcal infection, or have had scarlet or rheumatic fever. The symptoms may come and go or may linger.