We created our Stanford PANS program in 2012 in order to build a comprehensive program with the goal
to orchestrate groundbreaking research while providing tailored care for patients and their families.
Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) Care
Children who have a suspected or diagnosed condition of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS), or Sydenham chorea (with psychiatric symptoms) may be accepted into our program. Please inquire within as our clinic is very limited.
For new patient information, click here.
We know that these conditions present a sudden, seemingly inexplicable change in children, and understand that getting accurate diagnosis, proper treatment and family support can make a profound difference for both the child’s health and the entire family’s well-being. Our goal is to provide outstanding care based on groundbreaking research, and to tailor care to your child’s unique combination of symptoms and your family’s personal needs.
Stanford was the first academic institution to start a mutlidisciplinary PANS service. We hosted the first national PANS conference in the spring of 2013 where we worked to create clear diagnostic guidelines.
What are PANS and PANDAS?
Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) is a clinical diagnosis given to children who have a dramatic – sometimes overnight – onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms including obsessions/compulsions or food restriction. They are often diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or an eating disorder, but the sudden onset of symptoms separates PANS from these other disorders. In addition, they may have symptoms of depression, irritability, anxiety, and have difficulty with schoolwork. The cause of PANS is unknown in most cases but is thought to be triggered by infections, metabolic disturbances, and other inflammatory reactions.
Like PANS, children with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) have an acute onset – within 2 to 3 days – of neuropsychiatric symptoms, specifically OCD or tics (involuntary, purposeless movements). However, PANDAS patients test positive for a recent streptococcal infection, such as strep throat, peri-anal strep or scarlet fever. Like PANS patients, they also may suffer from uncontrollable emotions, irritability, anxiety and loss of academic ability and handwriting skills. Although PANDAS was identified as a medical syndrome more than a decade before PANS, it has been classified as a subset of PANS. To date, PANDAS is the only known subset of PANS, but we may discover more causes in the future.