Latest Neurological Research
Neurologists believe PANDAS/PANS affects a part of the brain called the basal ganglia. This area of the brain is responsible for motor control, executive functions, behaviors and emotions. Neurological research around PANDAS/PANS has focused on understanding how the body’s immune system attacks the brain (basal ganglia) and how it impairs the function of multiple cells—including nerve cells, the brain’s resident immune cells and blood vessels after multiple infections with group A strep. Calming this autoimmune response after infection with group A strep appears to reduce neurological and behavioral symptoms.
The above video shows the latest scientific research on how the blood vessels of the brain that normally form a blood–brain barrier to prevent immune cells and antibodies from getting inside the brain may be damaged due to peripheral inflammatory and immune processes arising after multiple group A strep infections.
Ongoing human genetic studies in several U.S. research centers indicate that PANDAS/PANS likely affects a genetically sensitive group of children and that the mutated genes seem to regulate the immune function. These findings, in combination with studies on the animal model for the disease, indicate that PANDAS/PANS is a form of autoimmune disease that targets the brain. This line of research may provide new information on potential treatments that target inflammation and may lessen symptoms for many children affected with these disorders.
Further neurological research is needed to learn more about how PANDAS/PANS may continue to affect the normal function of some patients throughout their adolescent life and into adulthood.
Help us continue to support the children and adults living with PANDAS/PANS.