PANDAS PHYSICIANS NETWORK:
2020 IMPACT AND ACTIONS
“Our goal at the PANDAS Physicians Network is to halt the suffering of a generation of children, by supporting the accurate diagnosis of pediatric mental health issues caused by simple infection.”
-Susan Boaz, Executive Director of the PANDAS Physicians Network
UPDATED DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT FLOWCHARTS
Updated the PANS/PANDAS diagnostic flowchart and treatment guidelines includes detailed process provided for determining the appropriate diagnosis, symptom severity-based treatment protocols for mild, moderate, and severe/extreme cases, guidelines for assessing the outcome of treatments, and guidance in determining the next steps.
NEW SCHOOL RESOURCE
As everyone faced a new and unique school year, health care professionals, school staff, and families with PANDAS/PANS children needed to work together to create a foundation for a successful school year. In order to help them navigate the process, PANDAS Physicians Network collaborated with Jamie Candelaria-Greene PhD, BCET to offer the new resource, Considerations for Health Care Professionals in the Education of PANS-Affected Students. This publication discusses the unique symptomatology and presentation of PANS in students, collaboration with the schools, and education amid COVID-19. It is a perfect complement to our additonal school resources found at pandasppn.org/school.
“I’m so pleased to see the recent update to the PPN diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines. While much of the material was documented in the 2017 JCAP articles, the flowcharts also incorporate recommendations from clinicians who have been treating PANDAS and PANS patients for the past three years. The flowcharts also provide specific guidance for mild, moderate and severe/extremely ill patients, which provide pediatricians and child psychiatrists with powerful tools to recognize, evaluate and treat PANS and PANDAS.”
– Dr. Susan Swedo, Scientist Emeritus, National Institute of Health
✓ Published a PSA urging clinicians to consider PANS/PANDAS if they see a child with a sudden and dramatic onset of unwanted thoughts, fears, rituals, OCD, and a decline in mental health
✓ Implemented a new educational ad campaign directed to pediatric nurse practitioners
✓ Successfully completed our first CME learning opportunity
✓ Partnered with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to provide free, limited time access to a PANS/PANDAS learning opportunity
✓ Collaborated with The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal to provide free access to A Pediatric Infectious Disease Perspective on PANDAS/PANS by Ellen Wald, MD
✓ PPN awarded Dr. Madeleine W. Cunningham, George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Presbyterian Health Foundation Presidential Professor, a research grant to identify one or more biomarkers for PANS/PANDAS (and Sydenham Chorea). The goal of this research is to improve the diagnosis of PANS/PANDAS with as much accuracy as possible to confirm the diagnosis with biomarkers rather than by a diagnosis of exclusion.
✓ Trial of Naproxen Sodium for the Treatment of OCD in Children With PANDAS began recruitment.”This project aims to rigorously evaluate a potential treatment for inflammation-related OCD symptoms in children.” This study was funded in part by a 2019 PPN research grant awarded to Kyle Williams, MD, Principle Investigator. This controlled trial is the first of its kind.