Arizona health panel works to raise awareness on pediatric autoimmune disorder

Too many children suffering from neurological autoimmune disorders lack access to resources to correctly diagnose them, a state lawmaker contends. “If we can create public awareness around the diagnosis of this condition then we can start to look at the appropriate treatment for the condition as well,” said Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek. Making more Arizonans aware of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome was on the agenda Thursday as Carter, chairwoman of the House Health Committee, convened a committee of experts, advocates, state leaders and parents.

PANS is a controversial diagnosis that links the sudden and acute onset of psychiatric disorders – such as anxiety, depression or aggression – with an infectious trigger or environmental factor. A subset of PANS, called PANDAS or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal, links obsessive compulsive disorders with strep throat — more specifically the antibodies created to fight strep throat.

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