The HHSC Office of Disability Prevention for Children (ODPC) is offering a free webinar, “Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS): An Often-Overlooked Condition in Children,” from 10–11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 8. Register for the webinar here.
PANS is a medical condition where a child suddenly develops obsessive-compulsive symptoms or severe eating restrictions along with at least two other cognitive, behavioral or neurological symptoms. Symptoms typically appear following an infection or other inflammatory reaction. An estimated 1–2% of children are affected by PANS, according to the PANS Research Consortium. Estimates suggest that about 11,000 children younger than 18 years old develop this illness each year in Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott recently appointed 13 experts to the PANS Advisory Council, and ODPC is collaborating with the council to promote awareness and education.
A PANS diagnosis is based on an analysis of the child’s medical history, current symptoms and a physical examination. Doctors must perform a comprehensive evaluation to rule out other potential disorders, such as toxic effects of drugs or medications. PANS interferes with children’s ability to learn in school and, if left untreated, can negatively affect their quality of life.
“PANS impacts the social structures around the child,” said Dr. Qazi Javed, child psychiatrist and member of the PANS Advisory Council. “The social structures, in return, impact the child. This trauma/re-trauma dysfunction exacerbates the damage that PANS has on society around the child.”