Paediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) are infection-induced autoimmune conditions that result in an inflammation of the brain and cause a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions.
PANS is caused by an infectious trigger (a virus) or non-infectious agents (such as environmental triggers). PANDAS is a subset of PANS. It is associated with streptococcal infections such as sinusitis, ear infections, or scarlet fever.
For a child to be diagnosed with PANS or PANDAS, they must have experienced a sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), tics, or severely restricted food along with two (or more) symptoms from the list below:
- Anxiety (particularly separation anxiety)
- Sensory and/or motor abnormalities
- Emotional lability (extreme emotions that can fluctuate rapidly)
- Irritability, aggression and/or severe oppositional behaviours
- Deterioration in school performance
- Memory deficits, cognitive changes, hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity
- Behavioural and/or developmental regression
- Sleep disturbances, enuresis, or urinary frequency
- Hallucinations and/or psychosis
- Concerns that their food is contaminated
- Trichotillomania (hair-pulling)
- Enlarged pupils
PANS PANDAS UK educate and raise awareness of PANS and PANDAS. It is their mission to ensure that every GP surgery, hospital, and tertiary centre in the UK recognises the symptoms of PANS and PANDAS, and understands the treatment protocol and pathway.
Their website features information and resources for families, medical professionals, and educators. There is also an online shop, a blog, and events page, and a newsletter.
PANS PANDAS UK is a registered charity (no. 1178484).