PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day
In the United States, nearly 1 in 200 children are diagnosed with Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes (PANS) and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day on October 9th sets out to increase research, education and support to those affected by the condition.
Symptoms of PANS and PANDAS come on suddenly following a strep, bacterial or viral infection. The symptoms include:
- sudden onset Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- deterioration in skills
- begins refusing foods and become selective in foods they will eat
- reduced performance at school
- sensitive to touch and sound
- sleep changes
- uncontrolled movements
- Rheumatic pain
PANDAS is often misdiagnosed. The symptoms can diminish or remit. However, relapse occurs increasing in duration and intensity over time. Some causes of relapse include repeated infections and environmental triggers. Early diagnosis can result in long-term remission.
Treatments include antibiotics, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), and plasmapheresis among other treatments.
More research is needed to improve early diagnosis and treatment. Research will also help physicians better understand the condition. PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day encourages everyone to learn more about the condition, recognize the symptoms, and support families with a loved one diagnosed with PANDAS.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PANSPANDASAwarenessDay
There are several way to support the cause:
- Speak to your state representatives to support a proclamation of PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day. Many states have already proclaimed the day.
- Make a donation to support research.
- Share your experiences with PANDAS.
- Visit pandasnetwork.org for more information on PANDAS, the work being done and how to help.
Use #PANSPANDASAwarenessDay to share on social media.
PANS PANDAS AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
In 2009, several parents and physicians created the PANDA Network. The organization set out to provide support for families enduring PANDAS and began promoting PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day.