Silhouette of Mother and Young Children Holding Hands at SunsetIn the 1980s, a subset of children were noted to have an abrupt onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with neuropsychiatric symptoms triggered by an infection of some kind. This lead to the development of diagnoses of PANS (Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome) and PANDAS (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections).

For decades, understanding how to diagnose and treat PANS/PANDAS has been a challenge . Last year diagnostic recommendations were published and as of today Arizona boasts a UA Pediatric Center of Excellence for the treatment and research of these disorders. We visited the center yesterday and were impressed by their multidisciplinary staff and commitment to the health of Arizona children.

There is a lot of work here in Arizona being done to raise awareness of these conditions among the public and providers. Our ADHS website hosts a page dedicated to PANS/PANDAS. The PACE Foundation is a nonprofit here in Arizona geared toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients with the condition. Visit either of these pages for more information and links.