Pans/Pandas is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system dysregulation causes brain inflammation, a form of Autoimmune Encephalitis (AE).
Pans: Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome
Pandas: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (a subset of Pans)
Pans/Pandas is a clinical diagnosis with the main symptom being either one or a combination of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), tics, or restrictive eating.
In addition to the primary symptom(s), at least two or more of the following symptoms are present:
~Anxiety, sometimes can include separation anxiety or even agoraphobia
~Emotional lability or drastic mood changes
~Oppositional behavior, aggression or irritability
~Behavioral or developmental regression
~School performance deteriorates such as math or handwriting skills
~Somatic signs such as sleep disturbances or urinary disturbance
The factor can be having Strep which can cause Pandas, but many factors can cause Pans such as: a virus, another illness, mold, lyme, bartonella, trauma, etc.
In about 40% of cases there is a sudden onset which occurs within 24-48 hours. In the other cases the onset can occur over months of time after the triggering event. This can be confusing and many times as in our own personal case, my son was misdiagnosed with a variety of different disorders. After years of trying to find an answer, we finally realized his symptoms and flare periods were due to Pans/Pandas.
Pans/Pandas causes flares during triggering events. The first trigger is the initial one that causes the dysregulation in the immune system and causes the initial symptoms. After that, at any time an illness, someone ill near the Pans/Pandas individual, stress or many other factors can cause a flare. Subsequent flares could cause new symptoms which can lead to a lot of confusion. There may be periods after a period of flaring that things get a little better but typically over time symptoms worsen.
This immune disorder is a lesser known disorder and not supported or understood by some of the medical community. Finding a skilled Pans/Pandas provider is essential. As an advocate of holistic therapies, I highly recommend the homeopathy route through a skilled Pans/Pandas Naturopathic Doctor such as Resilience Naturopathic. Typical allopathic medical treatments are using long-term antibiotics, ibuprofen and IVIG, an immunotherapy treatment.
Please refer to my Resources page for links to more information about Pans/Pandas.
Note: As a Yoga Teacher I can only share information. I cannot diagnose or specifically treat any illness or disorder. Yoga can be beneficial for symptoms. Consult a Pans/Pandas specialist if Pans/Pandas is suspected.