Definition of PANDAS

PANDAS: An acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Disorders Associated with Strep.

PANDAS is the sudden onset of symptoms like those of obsessive-compulsive disorder or Tourette syndrome following infection with streptococcus bacteria, caused by an autoimmune reaction that affects the basal ganglia in the brain. If tics are seen, they may or may not be choreaform like those of Sydenham chorea, a closely related condition that can follow a bout of rheumatic fever, which is caused by the streptococcus bacteria.

Diagnosis is primarily by observation, although a blood marker for the disorder has been identified. Treatment is by plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin, prophylactic antibiotics, and/or medication for specific symptoms.


Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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