P.A.N.D.A.S. stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep.
Children who have PANDAS or P.A.N.S. (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Symptoms), have an immune system that attacks their brain instead of the invading bacteria. This essentially sets their brain “on fire,” and this “invisible disease” probably affects someone you know.
Typical symptoms of PANDAS/PANS include: tics, anxiety, irritability, depression, OCD, hallucinations, an increased fight or flight response, dysgraphia, separation anxiety, hyperactivity, developmental and behavioral regression (“age regression”), urinary problems (frequency and/or wetting), involuntary movement, dilated pupils, and somatic symptoms.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, symptoms can often be managed. Treatment can include antibiotics, oils and herbs, strict diet, and for severe cases– IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin), essentially an intravenous immune-booster with effects lasting 2 weeks to 3 months.
For more information on PANDAS and PANS, go to www.empoweredhandsforpans.org.
LOCAL STORY– Livonia Teens Starts Nonprofit
The kids who go in for IVIG treatment can feel frightened and alone– that’s why local Livonia teen Mary Rose Crombez started Empowered Hands for PANS, a nonprofit organization that provides hand-delivered care packages to kids in IVIG treatment and PANDAS/PANS education throughout the community.
In observation of the national PANDAS/PANS awareness day, and to support the growing number of families affected by PANDAS/PANS in southeast Michigan, please consider attending an upcoming dinner and silent auction hosted by Empowered Hands for PANS.
PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day Dinner and Silent Auction
October 10th, 2015 $10/person or $25/family
Registration opens at 5:30PM, dinner at 6:00PM, Auction Drawing at 8:30PM
Prince of Glory Evangelical Lutheran Church
1357 W. 14 Mile Road
Madison Heights, MI 48071
James is a bright fifth grader who sings in choir and plays soccer. He is homeschooled since his PANDAS diagnosis in second grade. Normally, he’s full of energy and ready to get the day started. But this morning, he is lying on the floor screaming because the seam in his sock “hurts” him. He refused his breakfast, couldn’t focus on his reading, and has begun to chew the edge of his sleeve. His body is fighting off strep, but he doesn’t have a sore throat or fever.
A child with PANDAS/PANS may experience a few or all of the typical symptoms– affecting them physically, psychologically, and socially. James was diagnosed when his teachers at school noticed some OCD behaviors and his parents were shocked by sudden anger outbursts, frequent urination, and age regression.
Imagine being a confident teen one day, and full of anxiety the next? Or a happy-go-lucky kid suddenly turned irritable and aggressive? This is the reality for James and many children like him.