Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PANDAS: We're not talking cute fuzzy bears

PANDAS  (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders associated with Streptococcal infections)

OCD and anxiety in children could possibly be linked to strep infections.  Since Jack was very young, I could always tell when he was getting sick a week before he had the actual symptoms.  He would go around the entire house (no matter where we were) and turn every single light on in the house.  I couldn't just have one window open in the house......they either had to be ALL OPEN or ALL CLOSED.  I would tell my hubby "he's getting sick."  I was always right.  For a long time I didn't know why this happened......but it would come with a vengeance.  Unfortunately, it still happens.  Basically, in some kids, when they are exposed to strep bacteria it raises antibodies that are thought to attack the basal ganglia in the brain, resulting in terrible bouts of OCD, anxiety, and aggressive behavior.  For some children, long term antibiotics help.  Others respond well to IVIG, which is considered experimental and very expensive.  I hate PANDAS.....it has been holding us hostage for years now.  It exacerbates Jack's autism symptoms (I actually believe autism IS a symptom of MANY autoimmune issues) and takes over all of our lives.  It impedes his learning and development, and anyone who knows me knows that I am determined to kick it's ASS!  Many doctors don't recognize PANDAS, because they don't know a lot about it.....but it exists, and has actually been in the media more and more.  Please follow the links for more information on PANDAS.




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