Or, a high-achieving, straight-A middle school student that suddenly begins having difficulty concentrating or even remembering what he learned the day before.
Or, how about a bubbly and social teenager that has a complete personality change and can no longer leave the house due to severe anxiety.
Unfortunately, for a growing number of parents, these frightening and heartbreaking scenarios have become their reality. More and more children are being diagnosed with autoinflammatory neurological disorders known as PANS and/or PANDAS. Today, we’re going to dive into exactly what PANS/PANDAS is, why cases are on the rise, and what you can do to minimize your own child’s risk of developing these disorders.
What is PANS?
PANS and PANDAS are both related autoimmune conditions that disrupt children’s neurological function. PANS is an acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. PANS is a broad classification and can be caused by nearly any infection. Some more common infectious agents that have been linked to PANS includes:1
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
- Influenza (the flu)
- Epstein Barr (Mono)
- Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Herpes simplex
But any infection that triggers an immune response can potentially cause PANS.