A little known and fascinating piece of the causes of childhood psychological problems is that early childhood infection can cause these problems. The most well know example of this happening is called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, or PANDAS. The usual symptom picture is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and tic disorders, but associated features can include ADHD symptoms, anxiety, and other problems. The onset is typically sudden and then waxes and wanes, and diagnosis may involve blood tests. However, other types of infection besides strep, including herpes simplex, can also cause PANDAS.
Treatments may include standard psychiatric treatment as well as innovative treatments involving antimicrobials and immunomodulatory therapies
You can get oriented to this syndrome here
If you want to get your child evaluated for PANDAS and your doctor is not familiar with it, the NIH website suggests these two reputable organizations for list of experts:
Contact the International OCD Foundation
or the PANDAS Network.
A recent scientific paper summarizes current care guidelines:
Thienemann Margo, Murphy Tanya, Leckman James, Shaw Richard, Williams Kyle, Kapphahn Cynthia, Frankovich Jennifer, Geller Daniel, Bernstein Gail, Chang Kiki, Elia Josephine, and Swedo Susan. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. September 2017, 27(7): 566-573. https://doi.org/10.1089/cap.2016.0145
Published in Volume: 27 Issue 7: September 1, 2017
Online Ahead of Print: July 19, 2017
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