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© 2019 PANS/PANDAS UK. Logo and site by JSC. 

Charity Number: 1178484

WHAT IS PANS AND PANDAS?

PANS (Paediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome)

 

PANS is a neuropsychiatric condition which is triggered by a misdirected immune response which results in an inflammation of a child's brain.

 

PANS is a clinical diagnosis and there is no specific test which will prove or disprove the condition.  In order for a diagnosis to be made, presentation of the following symptoms must occur:

 

An abrupt, acute, dramatic onset (usually within 24-48 hours) of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)* or severely restricted food intake** along with two or more of the following symptoms which are not better explained by a known neurologic or medical disorder.

 

  • Anxiety (heightened anxiety, separation anxiety, irrational fears, panic episodes)

  • Tics

  • Emotional lability and/or Depression

  • Irritability, Aggression, and/or Severely Oppositional Behaviours

  • Behavioural (Developmental) Regression (increase in temper tantrums, loss of age-appropriate language, clingy behaviour not related to anxiety).

  • Sudden Deterioration in School Performance (due to difficulties with memory, concentration, hyperactivity, impulsivity, new deficits of visuospatial skills)

  • Motor or Sensory Abnormalities (dysgraphia, clumsiness, tics, new sensory sensitivities to light, noise, smell, taste or texture).

  • Insomnia and/or Sleep disturbances

  • Enuresis and/or Urinary frequency

  • Whilst not part of the diagnostic criteria, in approximately 25% of cases there have been reports of Psychosis and/or Hallucinations

Additional information can be found in the JCAP Files listed under the RESOURCES tab  

PANDAS (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)

PANDAS is a subset of PANS.  Similarly, it is a neuropsychiatric condition which is triggered by a misdirected immune response to a Streptococcal infection which results in an inflammation of a child's brain.  

Usually starting with an acute onset of obsessive compulsive disorder and/or tics, particularly multiple, complex or unusual tics.  PANDAS symptoms can then appear to wax and wane with the child experiencing flares periodically, following illness or periods of stress.  The child is usually between the ages of 3 and puberty when first symptoms occur and usually appear following a streptococcal infection such as Sinusitus, Ear infections or Scarlet Fever.  In some cases children can carry the streptococcus bacteria without showing signs of illness.

In addition to OCD* and/or tics, children can also experience a range of symptoms from the following list:

  • Enuresis and/or Urinary frequency

  • Insomnia and/or Sleep disturbances

  • Food restrictions**

  • Anxiety (heightened anxiety, separation anxiety, irrational fears, panic episodes)

  • Emotional lability and/or Depression

  • Irritability, Aggression, and/or Severely Oppositional Behaviours

  • Behavioural (Developmental) Regression (increase in temper tantrums, loss of age-appropriate language, clingy behaviour not related to anxiety).

  • Sudden Deterioration in School Performance (due to difficulties with memory, concentration, hyperactivity, impulsivity, new deficits of visuospatial skills)

  • Motor or Sensory Abnormalities (dysgraphia, clumsiness, tics, new sensory sensitivities to light, noise, smell, taste or texture).

Additional information can be found in the JCAP Files listed under the RESOURCES tab

* OCD may include any of the following:

  • Contamination obsessions and compulsions

  • Obsessions that harm will come to others and/or related compulsions

  • Sexual or religious obsessions

  • Repeating compulsions

  • Symmetry and exactness obsessions

  • Ordering/arranging compulsions

  • Counting compulsions

  • Checking obsessions or compulsions

  • Excessive reassurance seeking

  • Need to touch, tap or rub

  • Intrusive images, words, music or nonsense sounds

  • Ritualised eating behaviours

** Severely Restricted food intake may be related to contamination fears, obsessional fears of choking, or other obsessional fears including a new obsession with body image or weight.