WHAT IS PANS/PANDAS?
PANS and PANDAS (also known as Basal Ganglia Encephalitis) are disorders of the immune system that occur in 1 in 200 children.
The course is of abrupt onset and is often episodic or waxing and waning, and sometimes difficult to understand. My guidebook and mentorship program helps medical professionals understand, diagnose and treat PANS, PANDAS and BGE.
PANS is Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. PANDAS is Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus (“strep”). These conditions are also known as Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, a form of Autoimmune Encephalitis.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PANS AND PANDAS?
PANS and PANDAS present similarly, but the difference between these two
conditions is what causes them.
PANDAS is caused by a misdirected autoimmune response against self. Rather than the antibodies or immune system molecules simply attacking the strep germ in the throat or elsewhere in the body, these antibodies mount a response against a specific area of the brain called the basal ganglia. This is termed molecular mimicry and this misdirected or autoimmune response then causes a host of abrupt onset neuropsychiatric, behavioral and somatic symptoms.
PANS is a broader term that includes abrupt-onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms caused by other germs including mycoplasma, viruses, and metabolic triggers such as pesticides.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF PANS AND PANDAS?
The abrupt or dramatic onset or recurrence of OCD or the abrupt onset of a severe, restrictive
eating disorder with concurrent symptoms in at least 2 of 7 neuropsychiatric categories:
BEHAVIORAL (DEVELOPMENTAL) REGRESSION
SUDDEN DETERIORATION IN SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
MOTOR OR SENSORY ABNORMALITIES,
SOMATIC SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS, INCLUDING SLEEP DISTURBANCES, ENURESIS, OR URINARY FREQUENCY
PANS can be triggered by infections, metabolic disturbances, and other inflammatory reactions. Infectious triggers include upper respiratory infections, influenza, COVID-19, recalcitrant sinus infections, mycoplasma pneumonia, and lyme borreliosis, among others.
The biggest indicator that a child is suffering from PANS/PANDAS or BGE and not other vasculitic, psychological or neurological issues (such as Tourette’s or OCD) is its sudden onset and trigger: the severe behavioral, emotional and somatic symptoms in a child that seem to appear almost overnight.
HOW ARE PANS AND PANDAS DIAGNOSED?
Unlike some health conditions, there is no simple test to confirm PANS, PANDAS or BGE. Usually, a child will be diagnosed after a doctor has run lab tests to rule out other conditions, taken a full report of the child’s health history, and performed a physical examination. In short, PANS/PANDAS and BGE are clinical diagnoses.
I teach medical practitioners how to diagnose PANS, PANDAS and BGE in my Membership Program.
HOW ARE PANS AND
Treating PANS/PANDAS or BGE requires a three-pronged approach, which includes treating the inciting infection or trigger, using immune-modulating agents, and treating the symptoms.
PANS, PANDAS and BGE are not simple conditions to treat, but with the right medical guidance and a consistent approach to treatment, you and your patient can be empowered to find the root cause of the illness, work through it, and get back to a happy, healthy life. I help practitioners recognize and treat PANS, PANDAS and BGE through my Mentoring and Membership Programs.
I THINK MY CHILD/PATIENT/STUDENT MIGHT HAVE PANS/PANDAS. WHAT CAN I DO?
Our patient waiting list is typically 5 months or longer, so we encourage practitioners to
apply to our Membership and/or Mentoring Program to learn to treat PANS, PANDAS and BGE.