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Brain Scan Abnormalities Found in Children with PANS

Brain scan abnormalities found in children with PANS

In total, 34 patients (median age 12, 17 boys, 17 girls) with acute onset PANS before initiation of treatment were compared with 64 pediatric control participants. The current working model suggests a unifying inflammatory process involving the central nervous system, particularly the basal ganglia. 

Using and experimental testing method 3 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis measurements were taken of, regional brain volume, diffusion, and cerebral blood flow were measured in the cerebral white matter, cerebral cortex, thalamus, caudate, putamen, pallidum, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and brainstem.

All assessed brain regions had statistically significantly increased median diffusivity compared with 64 control participants. Increases in diffusivity consistent with the cardinal clinical symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, emotional dysregulation, and sleep disturbances. Further study of MRI is warranted in prospective, clinical trials as a potential quantitative method for assessing patients under evaluation for PANS.