“As the field moves toward agreement on this broadened syndrome, affected youth will be more likely to receive appropriate care, regardless of whether they are seen by a neurologist, pediatrician or child psychiatrist,”
-NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.
The NIH has issued the press release Possible causes of sudden onset OCD in kids broadened.
In today’s article, the NIH officially states and acknowledges the newly proposed syndrome PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes). It is the hope of the NIH and NIMH to educate clinicans to understand that when it comes to sudden onset OCD, “differing causes (can share) a common presentation”.
The authors propose that a patient must meet 3 diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of PANS:
- Abrupt, dramatic onset of OCD or anorexia.
- Concurrent presence of at least two additional neuropsychiatric symptoms with similarly severe and acute onset. These include: anxiety; mood swings and depression; aggression, irritability and oppositional behaviors; developmental regression; sudden deterioration in school performance or learning abilities; sensory and motor abnormalities; somatic signs and symptoms.
- Symptoms are unexplainable by a known neurologic or medical disorder.
Among the wide range of accompanying symptoms, children may appear terror stricken or suffer extreme separation anxiety, shift from laughter to tears for no apparent reason, or regress to temper tantrums, baby talk or bedwetting. In some cases, their handwriting and other fine motor skills worsen dramatically. Leckman’s team at the Yale Child Study Center is in the process of developing assessment tools for diagnosing the syndrome.
The NIMH IVIG study for PANDAS is reintroduced in the press release as well and how Swedo “predict(s) that IVIG will have striking benefits for OCD and other psychiatric symptoms, and will prove most effective for children who show high levels of anti-brain antibodies when they enter the study”. We hope this will be a good stepping stone to finally getting insurance to approve IVIG as a form of treatment.
To read the press release in full, please visit Possible causes of sudden onset OCD in kids broadened.
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