PANS is the acronym for Pediatric Acute onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infections.
What causes PANS and PANDAS?
Doctors aren’t sure why some children get PANS/PANDAS, but it appears to be an autoimmune disorder. It is hypothesized to be the result of autoimmune antibodies mistakenly attacking the basal ganglia in the brain following an infection.
What are PANDAS and PANS symptoms?
PANDAS is characterized as the sudden onset or worsening of neuropsychiatric symptoms following a Strept infection. With PANDAS, your child may seem to turn into a different person overnight. However the Strep throat seems to be a normal part of childhood, in a small number of children the infection triggers some strange changes like obsessive behaviours, anxiety, emotional liability and/or depression, irritability, sensory sensitivities, irrational fears, aggression, behavioural regression, sleep disorders, decline in school performance, restrictive eating, motor tics.
As there are children who meet the criteria for PANDAS but do not have laboratory evidence of a recent group A Strept infection, the term Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, PANS has been recently adopted to include the sudden onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms observed with PANDAS but not found to be associated with a group A streptococcal infection. So, PANDAS is now considered a subset of PANS.
How is PANS and PANDAS diagnosed?
There is no single test that can confirm PANS or PANDAS. As many different things can cause the symptoms, and your child may have certain symptoms one day and different ones the next day, it makes it so hard to diagnose. To make the diagnosis, paediatricians will look at the symptoms and rule out other conditions that could be causing them.
What is PANS and PANDAS conventional treatment?
The conventional approach to treating PANS and PANDAS will focus on treating the psychological symptoms and suppressing the immune response. If an active Strept infection is diagnosed, then your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Psychiatric symptoms will be addressed by psychiatric medication and with cognitive behavioural therapy. Intravenous immunoglobulin, steroids and plasmapheresis are used to control the immune response.
PANS and PANDAS homeopathic treatment
Homeopathy offers a safe and effective option for many of the neuropsychiatric problems, including PANS and PANDAS. The medicines used for PANS and PANDAS homeopathic treatment are prepared from natural substances and thus are safe and cause no side effects. Homeopathic treatment focus on the root cause and has the goal to support the healthy function of the body. Homeopathy being a holistic medicine, has an individual approach. There must be a recognition that each patient is different. We are all made up of systems that work together to respond to the external forces that act to disrupt the balance of health. However, individual lifestyles, nutrition, genetics, toxin exposures, viruses and microbes, mental and emotional triggers are different and make each individual more or less susceptible to disease.
There are over 3,000 homeopathic remedies that can be used for PANDAS and PANS, but only the constitutional remedy that fits the individual will work to help the body heal. Homeopathic remedy will give a boost to the body to heal itself, it will not force biochemistry like meds do. The homeopath will be focusing on finding unique symptoms, as it is vital and essential to match the best remedy for your child. Once remedy was given, the key of making a successful case is consistency of follow-ups. There is no magic and overnight changes under a remedy. The healing process takes time, and usually is not a linear course. During the homeopathic treatment plan one remedy can be replaced with another one, more suitable according to the totality of symptoms. There might also follow some changes in frequency and potency of the remedy, depending on the body’s response to the homeopathic remedy. Ultimately, management of dosing has to be matched to the individual needs and response of the patient, just like the remedy has to match their symptoms.
How long PANDAS or PANS homeopathic treatment is?
Sometimes improvements could be seen within days on a well prescribed remedy. If there are no improvements after 3-5 weeks on a remedy, then we need to reconsider and change it. Mental-emotional level usually responds first in PANDAS and PANS syndromes. Better sleep, better performance at school, improvement in behaviour and focusing on tasks, these are just few changes that parents tell me during follow up consultations. Improvements of tics tend to take a little bit longer. The healing process might have a series of ups and downs in the long run. It happens that kids take 2-3 steps forward in their healing and then one step back. When they take one step back, it might be a sign that the body is no longer sensitive to the remedy or the potency, and a small adjustment needs to be done. The PANDAS or PANS homeopathic treatment usually needs several potencies and remedies for long lasting improvements.
The well prescribed homeopathic remedies in PANDAS/PANS might bring quick improvements in the short term, and progressive healing in the long term. Let professionals do their best for your child: relief might be a remedy away.
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