The Immunobiology of Tourette’s Disorder, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus, and Related Disorders: A Way Forward

Murphy TK, Kurlan R, Leckman J. The immunobiology of Tourette’s disorder, pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with Streptococcus, and related disorders: a way forward. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2010 Aug;20(4):317-31. doi: 10.1089/cap.2010.0043. PMID: 20807070; PMCID: PMC4003464.

An infectious association to the onset of pediatric neuropsychiatric symptoms would certainly help explain the enigmatic changes that can quickly occur in an otherwise healthy child. Because many infections can seemingly be insignificantly present, their pathology is often underestimated. Host and pathogen traits likewise have the potential to alter neuroendocrine and neuroimmune responses that collectively contribute to neuropsychiatric disease formation.

It is time for the National Institutes of Health, in combination with advocacy and professional organizations, to convene a panel of experts not to debate the current data, but to chart a way forward. For now we have only to offer our standard therapies in treating OCD and tics, but one day we may have evidence that also allows us to add antibiotics or other immune-specific treatments to our armamentarium.

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