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Brain attack: An explanation for a mental illness that strikes out of the blue

Stanford Medicine

Erin Digitale

Fall 2014

Paul Michael Nelson’s parents took him to a psychiatrist after witnessing their seven-year-old son’s first episode of psychosis in 2009. But they were shuffled out and refused a prescription because of his low level of platelets, the blood cells that form clots to stop bleeding. It took months and several hospitalizations before anyone realized that Paul Michael’s immune system was causing his delusion and erratic behavior. Back then, doctors knew little about the concept of autoimmune psychiatric disease. Standord’s doctors conducted research and found evidence of interaction between PANS patients’ antibodies and their brains, but further studies are needed for a universally accepted treatment. Luckily, Paul Michael’s condition has become much better, and his parents are hopeful about his future.

Read the full article at:https://stanmed.stanford.edu/2014fall/brain-attack.html