RadioMD Spotlights Devastating Disorder Triggered by Strep Throat
Your child’s strep throat could lead to a debilitating disorder that causes drastic changes in their behavior overnight. P.A.N.D.A.S. is a pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep that experts say can be treated after early detection and accurate diagnoses. Dr. Susan Schulman, leading P.A.N.D.A.S provider, and Diana Pohlman, Founder and Executive Director of the P.A.N.D.A.S. Network, joined Dr. Larry Kaskel M.D. on RadioMD’s The Healthy Skeptic Show to discuss the not-so-cuddly disease.
Dr. Schulman explains that following a simple strep infection, children suffering from P.A.N.D.A.S. can suddenly experience intense emotional or sensory irritability, regression to babyish behavior, emotional lability, severe anger, sleep disturbance, frequent urination, anxiety symptoms, OCD, deterioration in cognitive skills, and motor tics or stuttering. Though not all of these symptoms arise in every child with P.A.N.D.A.S., Dr. Schulman says the common denominator is a sudden change in the baseline nature of the child.
Diana Pohlman estimates 1 in every 200 children has P.A.N.D.A.S., one of which was her own seven-year-old son. The previously sweet, affectionate little boy began exhibiting extreme anxiety and fear, OCD, babyish behavior, strange body movements, stuttering, and eventually neurological problems. Doctors were unable to determine the cause of the child’s drastic behavior change and it wasn’t until six long months that the combination of Zithromax, IVIG and a tonsillectomy helped Diana’s son get better.
Both Diana and Dr. Schulman expressed their huge concern for misdiagnosis, as many children suffering from P.A.N.D.A.S are likely being treated for diseases with overlapping symptoms like pediatric bipolar or the onset of late regressive autism. Help Diana spread the word about P.A.N.D.A.S and get more children diagnosed and treated by clicking here to donate to the P.A.N.D.A.S. network.