Wall Street Journal Reports on Correlation Between Infection and OCD

PANDAS_Network_Strep_Throat

Garrett Pohlman went to his first day of second grade a regular boy and came home as a completely different person, the Wall Street Journal reports. He had been battling case after case of strep throat and was suddenly onset with symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He was terrified to return to school.

Most would not link strep throat and sudden OCD, but Garrett’s mother, Diana, thought there might be a connection. Her suspicion proved to be true, as, according to the Journal, the notion that there is a connection between infections and certain psychiatric disorders, including OCD, has been gaining rapid traction in the scientific community.

The connection between the two is called PANDAS or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders. There is an entire Stanford Clinic dedicated to exploring and treating the condition, as well as a network of physicians ranging from Boston to Tampa that have regular conference calls to discuss treatments for PANDAS. Physicians from all over the country are planning to convene for their third PANS Consensus Conference in fall.

Diana Pohlman’s experiences with the syndrome inspired her to found an advocacy group for PANDAS called PANDAS Network. The Journal says she describes her “efforts to get attention for the condition as being “like a startup” in that families have helped drive attention and resources to the disorder.”

Unfortunately for Garrett and his mother, who live close to Stanford, his symptoms arose years before the clinic existed. But, through many forms of treatment, Garrett, now 15, shows no signs of OCD or tics, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Read the full article here.

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