By Lisa Killion
The child radiated happiness, had friends and loved life. Then seemingly overnight, he chEdit date and timeanged; he began to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) behaviors and tics, wet the bed, was unable to leave the side of his parents, barely ate, raged and threw books. He told his parents that he wished to die. His doctor prescribed antidepressants but the medication did little to alleviate the symptoms.
Enter the world of PANS/PANDAS, an infection-induced encephalitis that strikes approximately one in 200 children. PANS, or Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, is an autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder triggered by infection, including flu, pneumonia, mycoplasma, Lyme disease, Coxsackie and strep. On the other hand, PANDAS, which is a slightly more recognizable acronym, pertains to the autoimmune neuropsychatric disorder induced by the streptococcus infection. PANDAS was first identified in the 1990s by Dr. Susan Swedo, who currently researches at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).