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HomeUnderstanding PANDASPANDAS StoriesHow strep throat may spark OCD and anxiety in some kids

How strep throat may spark OCD and anxiety in some kids

Science News

Rachel Zamzow

August 2019

Though infection with group A strep is common, not all patients respond the same way. Studies have suggested that in those with PANDAS, the strep antibodies attack the brain, particularly the basal ganglia, and are thought to cause psychiatric and behavioral symptoms in vulnerable patients. The basal ganglia govern motor control and emotions and are believed to play a role in OCD. But skeptics of PANDAS are not sure that the link is so clear cut—or that PANDAS even exists.

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