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Raising Awareness: Pandas

In December 2018, one of our mini athletes became ill. It was four months before she and her family would receive a diagnosis of Pandas. In that time, this seven year old suffered fits, seizures, narcoleptic type episodes, and severe emotional outbursts. She was passed from specialist to specialist, submitted to hospital on a number of occasions, had TWO lumber punches, and was even treated for a tumour.

This child and her family have endured the toughest of starts to 2019. Why? Because she has PANDAS. This isn’t a finger pointing exercise at the NHS, but more an attempt to demonstrate just how little is known about the condition- unfortunately, many children who have it will never receive the diagnosis because it is all too often misdiagnosed as something else.

It is incredibly rare, but in recent years understanding has improved with successful research and case studies. Here is what you need to know:

Children with PANDAS may exhibit symptoms of-

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Sudden and severe anxiety,

  • Mood swings, irritability, or uncontrollable movements.

  • Decline in School performance

  • Sleep problems.

It’s not clear why PANDAS happens. But it is believed that the bodies of sufferers produce too many antibodies that eventually end up attacking the part of the brain that controls behaviour.

The night is always darkest before the dawn. Now that Skyla and her family have a diagnosis, they can move forward. To read more on PANS, please visit: PansPandasUK.

Below is a short film of another Family’s journey with PANS.

Thank you for reading.

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