September 30, 2021
The HHSC Office of Disability Prevention for Children (ODPC) is offering a free webinar, “Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS): An Often Overlooked Childhood Disorder” on Friday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the webinar here.
PANS is a medical condition in which a child suddenly develops obsessive-compulsive symptoms or severe eating restrictions, along with at least two other cognitive, behavioral, or neurological symptoms. Symptoms usually appear after an infection or other inflammatory response. According to the PANS Research Consortium, an estimated 1-2% of children suffer from PANS. Estimates suggest that about 11,000 children under the age of 18 develop this disease each year in Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott recently appointed 13 experts to the PANS Advisory Board and ODPC is working with the Board to promote awareness and education.
A PANS diagnosis is based on an analysis of the child’s medical history, current symptoms, and a physical exam. Doctors should conduct a comprehensive evaluation to rule out other possible conditions, such as toxic effects of drugs or medications. PANS disrupts children’s ability to learn at school and, if left untreated, can negatively impact their quality of life.
“PANS affects the social structures around the child,” says Dr. Qazi Javed, child psychiatrist and member of the PANS Advisory Board. “Social structures, in turn, influence the child. This trauma/retrauma dysfunction exacerbates the damage PANS has on society around the child.”
For more information about PANS, read the report of the PANS Advisory Council (pdf). For more information, please visit the ODPC webpage or email the HHSC PANS team.