PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus


Recent research is identifying the potential role of group A streptococcus in Tourette’s Syndrome.  Investigators have identified that children with Tourette’s have elevated levels of antibodies to streptococcus as well as antibodies against the basal ganglia in the brain.  This emerging hypothesis of immune dysregulation needs further investigation but what we know is that children with Tourette’s syndrome has altered immune markers.  I believe we will find that the immune impairment leads to endless triggers including group A streptococcus but not limited to this microbe.  Toxic foods such as gluten and A1 beta casein are another example of immune triggers.  In a child with a genetic predisposition, any number of microbes, food toxins, environmental exposures or other stressors have the potential to exacerbate symptoms.  The key to helping children today is to identify immune irrregularities as well as triggers and put an individualized treatment plan in place to reduce symptoms and occurences.