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PROVIDENCE – Parents of children suffering from pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep (PANDAS), also referred to as pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS), will be gathering here in November for a conference.
The newly formed Northeast PANS/PANDAS Parents Association’s first conference Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 will bring together 400 people from 26 states, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada.
The Northeast PANS/PANDA Parents Association was founded last May by eight mothers and one clinician, according to Kim Panton, one of the mothers. The group aims to raise awareness of the condition – acute onset of severe anxiety and moodiness along with obsessive compulsive disorder-like behaviors, possibly following infection with strep – and to support the medical community’s effort to treat children suffering from PANS/PANDAS.
PANS/PANDAS is a rare disease surrounded by controversy due to inconclusiveness of the proposed connection between streptococcal infection and onset of symptoms. Panton said that the group is currently putting together a survey to determine the number of children affected by this disease in the region. •