(Some info: P.A.N.D.A.S = Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)
What started out as a sore throat for Maury Cronauer two years ago developed into a frightening cascade of symptoms. She began to exhibit bizarre behavior — blurting out disturbing thoughts, obsessively washing her hands until her skin was raw. Her parents were completely baffled — and frightened. “When she would wake up in the morning we weren’t sure what Maury we were going to get,” said her mother, Michelle Cronauer.
A Surprising Diagnosis
Obsessive compulsive disorder afflicts millions of Americans, creating in them irrational fears and obsessions, such as fear of germs, fear of plastic utensils, or a constant need to wash one’s hands. It also affects approximately 1 percent of children, including Maury, now 6 years old.
What was most surprising to the Cronauers was that doctors linked Maury’s obsessive compulsive behavior to a common ailment in children — strep throat. The theory is not yet widely accepted in the medical community, but it has been gaining more support. The likely relationship, which is the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story this Sunday, has been coined PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. While experts believe the condition is relatively rare — striking about one in 1,000 children — it could explain unusual symptoms in some kids following strep throat. “We think that the strep causes obsessive compulsive disorder by creating antibodies that get mixed up and attack the child’s own brain,” said Dr. Susan Swedo of the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Read complete article on ABCnews
New York Times Sunday har også en stor artikel om PANDAS:
Can You Catch Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
By LISA BELKIN. Published: May 22, 2005
To suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, many patients say, is to ”know you are crazy.” Other forms of psychosis may envelop the sufferers until they inhabit the delusion. Part of the torture of O.C.D. is, as patients describe it, watching as if from the outside as they act out their obsessions — knowing that they are being irrational, but not being able to stop. They describe thoughts crowding their minds, nattering at them incessantly — anxious thoughts, sexual thoughts, violent thoughts, sometimes all at the same time. Is the front door locked? Are there germs on my hands? Am I a murderer if I step on an ant? And they describe increasingly elaborate rituals to assuage those thoughts — checking and rechecking door locks, washing and rewashing hands, walking carefully, slowly and in bizarre patterns to avoid stepping on anything. They feel driven to do things they know make no sense.
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