- Vibrant healthy extroverted 6yo male has an overnight onset of all new symptoms, including increase in urinary frequency (1stsymptom), dramatic personality change, crippling anxiety, sensory issues, dilated pupils, clenched teeth when talking, hands balled into fists (handmaiden grip), headaches, irritability and explosive meltdowns, fixated on bizarre topics and unable to clam self, irrational fears, excessive hand washing, seeking constant reassurance, need to be in the same room and sleep with parent, sensation of choking when eating, tics of throat clearing, shoulder shrugging, neck roll, opening mouth and gulping for air, new fear of familiar places, flat affect and suddenly ceased smiling and laughing.
- Symptoms come and go throughout the day but increase in intensity and frequency over a week’s time.
- Desperate mother discovers PANS/PANDAS organization after much frantic research and unsuccessful medical consults, emergency room visit, and neurological assessment. Mother makes connection between her own strep infection (six weeks prior) and the current acute psychiatric onset in her son. Child has no strep symptoms, negative lab results, and normal strep titers (suggesting a possible hidden infection?). Doctors dismiss mother’s input and the published PANDAS research she provided, as well as her 20 yrs of child psychotherapist professional experience (which validated that OCD does not occur overnight, coupled with urinary issues and multiple neurological symptoms!) Doctors googled PANDAS quickly in the next room and return, stating PANDAS is controversial and referred child to a psychiatrist.
- Trusted pediatrician diagnoses PANDAS based on the present classic symptoms displayed by the child and the previous strep exposure from his mother (Hallelujah!).
- Doctor agrees to 30 days of Augmentin antibiotic at mother’s request (based on endless research), symptoms begin to significantly decrease by day 14 on medication and child has a complete return to previous functioning by day 30.
- Child is later exposed to strep again at school, on his birthday, and begins to gradually display previous symptoms again, he tests positive for strep this time and is put on a milder antibiotic for 10 days, but has minimal improvement. He tests positive for strep again at med completion and is put back on Augmentin prophylaxis for several months to eradicate resistant strep and prevent re occurrence.
- Child has full remission, strep free and no symptoms since! (Immune support is added with daily supplements of probiotics, Vit C, Vit D, Omega 3).
- This case was my son’s experience. Children suffering this disorder can indeed heal but early identification and correct interventions are crucial to having a successful outcome.