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Symptoms and Signs of PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infections)

Doctor's Notes on PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infections)

PANDAS, which stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, is a pediatric disease characterized by sudden and dramatic symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders, or worsening OCD, and/or tics following a strep infection.

PANDAS affects children from age 3 to puberty, and rarely, adolescents. Strep bacteria causes PANDAS. This bacteria causes scarlet fever and strep throat.

Symptoms and signs of PANDAS include obsessions and/or compulsions and motor and/or vocal tics. Other symptoms of PANDAS include the following:

  • ADHD symptoms (hyperactivity, inattention, and fidgeting)
  • Separation anxiety (child has difficulty separating from parents or caregivers)
  • Mood changes, such as irritability, sadness, anxiety attacks, excessive emotional reactions (affect lability) such as a tendency to laugh or cry unexpectedly or inappropriately
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Overnight bed-wetting and/or frequent daytime urination
  • Changes in motor skills (for example, changes in handwriting)
  • Joint pains

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/12/2019

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.