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PANDAS Disease By: Lindsey Robertson

PANDAS Disease:

PANDAS Disease P ediatric A utoimmune N europsychiatric D isorders A ssociated with S treptococcal infections


PANDAS This is a disease of rapid onset of psychiatric symptoms such as OCD and tics in children.


History Research started in the 1990’s when children started showing signs of OCD that appeared to begin overnight. Unlike normal OCD (where the child hides their symptoms due to embarrassment) the OCD tendencies were not hidden and happened very abruptly.

Pathophysiology of PANDAS:

Pathophysiology of PANDAS Like in Rheumatic fever, Streptococcus infections go untreated or partially treated, and can cause many problems. Rheumatic fever can cause illnesses in the heart, joints, skin, and nervous system. This is because the Streptococcus bacteria survive in the human body by hiding from the immune system and they hide by performing molecular mimicry.

Pathophysiology of PANDAS Cont’d:

Pathophysiology of PANDAS Cont’d Molecular Mimicry is when a cell puts markers outside of its cell membrane that mimic that of another type of cell. In this case, the Streptococcus bacterial cells mimic the cells of the human heart, joint, skin, and brain. Because of this molecular mimicry, the human immune system has a really difficult time eliminating the foreign cell.

Pathophysiology Cont’d.:

Pathophysiology Cont’d. When detected, the immune system presents a pseudo-autoimmune response to these foreign cells. Because these Streptococcal cells mimic the cells of the brain, the immune system attacks the body’s good cells as well. This is what causes PANDAS disease

Symptoms of PANDAS:

Symptoms of PANDAS The most conclusive symptom is the sudden onset of OCD like tendencies and or tics. Anxiety, hyperactivity, “baby talk”, poor concentration, temper tantrums, concentration problems. Possible Streptococcal symptoms such as a sore throat.

Tests :

Tests Because this disease affects the cells of the brain, there is no real blood work that would definitively diagnose PANDAS disease. A thorough physical history and examination is the main test done Blood work can be done to prove that the child was recently infected with a Streptococcal infection.

Treatment for PANDAS:

Treatment for PANDAS Treatment of the symptoms of PANDAS disease can be helped by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It can also be helped by anti-obsessional medications and SSRI’s. ( sertaline , or paroxetine.) However, the BEST treatment for PANDAS disease is to eliminate the Streptococcal infection. This is best done by antibiotics!!


Summary PANDAS disease is a curable disease! Most of the time, once the the underlying Streptococcal infection is eradicated, the symptoms will go away. This disease is not likely to come back especially since the parents of the child will be on-guard for any Streptococcal infection.



Jamie’s Story:

Jamie’s Story http:// www.youtube.com / watch?v =p0EyBTuSODA

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