PANDAS Often Misdiagnosed In Kids, Can Lead To Sudden Behavioral Changes


[ SCREAMING ] KIDS EXHIBITING VIOLENT OUTBURSTS, AND IT IS A CONDITION THAT HAS BEEN BAFFLING PARENTS UNTIL NOW. IT TURNS OUT IT COULD BE A RAIN AND OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD DISORDER THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH STREP THROAT IN KIDS. FOR MOST ANTIBIOTICS CAN HELP. A LOCAL FAMILY THAT WANTS TO SHARE THEIR STORY IN AN EFFORT TO SPREAD SOME AWARENESS ON THIS. SUSAN JOINS US TO EXPLAIN. Reporter: AFTER THEIR SON GOT STREP THROAT, THEY SAY HE WENT FROM BEING HAPPY GO LUCKY TO BEING A TOTALLY DIFFERENT KID OVERNIGHT. THE DISORDER IS KNOWN AS PANDAS, AND THERE IS EVEN A NEW DOCUMENTARY WHICH SLEDS LIGHT ON HOW DEVASTATING THIS DISORDER CAN BE ON CHILDREN AND AND BONNY MARKOWITZ REMEMBER THE DAY THEIR WORLD CHANGED FOREVER. FEBRUARY 2, 2007. IT WAS ALMOST PSYCHOTIC. SERIOUSLY. LIKE WHERE IS THIS KID? WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM? Reporter: THEIR SON BRANDON WAS 5 AND A HALF WHEN HE SUDDENLY CHANGED, TANTRUMS THAT COULDN’T BE CONTROLLED, DEBILITATING OCD. BRANDON WASN’T BRANDON. ONE DAY HE IS DOING HIS THING, REALLY HAPPY AND WANTING TO GO OUT AND SUDDENLY THE NEXT DAY HE WAKES UP AND WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT IS GOING ON. Reporter: ALL BECAUSE OF A STREP INFECTION BRANDON HAD DEVELOPED SOMETHING CALLED PANDAS WHICH STANDS FOR PEDIATRIC AUTO IMMUNE NEUROPSYCHIC DISORDERS ASSOCIATED WITH THE STREP INFECTIONS. WHAT THAT BASICALLY MEANS IS THAT A CHILD GETS AN INFECTION AND THE ANTIBODIES SO THAT INFECTION END UP ATTACKING THEIR BRAIN INSTEAD OF THE GERMS. I CAN’T BREATHE! I CAN’T BREATHE! [ SCREAMING ] Reporter: A NEW DOCUMENTARY TELLS THE STORIES OF SEVERAL FAMILIES WHOSE CHILDREN SUFFER FROM PANDAS, THE VIOLENT OUTBURSTS. NOT, NOT, NOT. Reporter: THE TICKS. THE TANTRUMS. YOUR NORMAL LIFE IS SUDDENLY GONE OVERNIGHT. YOUR FRIENDS DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY. AND HE WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT KID. IT WAS LIKE LOOKING AT A DIFFERENT KID IN THE SAME BODY. Reporter: THE DOCUMENTARY IS CALLED MY KID IS NOT CRAZY, BECAUSE OFTEN CHILDREN WITH PANDAS ARE MISDIAGNOSED. AS A FILMMAKER, WHAT DID YOU SEE WHEN YOU WERE WITH THESE FAMILY ? WHAT I SAW WAS FAMILIES GOING TO USUALLY SEVERAL PSYCHIATRISTS AND GOING THROUGH A GAMUT OF PSYCH TROPIC MEDICATIONS, ALL OF WHICH WERE NOT WORKING. Reporter: IT IS ESTIMATED ONE IN 200 CHILDREN SUFFER FROM THIS DISORDER. THE BEST TREATMENT, ANTIBIOTICS FOR THE STREP INFECTION CAUSING THE SYMPTOMS. AND THE KIDS WHERE THEY’RE JUST DIAGNOSED AND NOT PROPERLY TREATED, THERE CAN BE LIFE LONG EFFECTS FROM IT, UNFORTUNATELY. Reporter: BRANDON’S CASE WAS CAUGHT EARLY. HIS PARENTS SAY HE IS DOING WELL, THANKS TO EVEN MORE ADVANCED TREATMENTS LIKE I.V. I. G. WHERE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS GIVEN A BOOST WITH HEALTHY DONOR PLASMA. IT SEEMS THAT THE LONGER THE CHILD HAS PANDAS THE HARDER IT IS TO TACKLE IT. Reporter: THEY’RE TELLING THEIR STORY SO OTHER FAMILIES CAN GET THE HELP THEY MAY NEED. THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS WE’RE DOING THIS. WE’RE BUILDING AWARENESS SO PEOPLE, WHEN THEY SEE SOMETHING HAPPENING WITH THEIR CHILD, SO HOW TOUGH WOULD IT BE TO GO TO YOUR DOCTOR AND SAY WHY DON’T YOU JUST SWAB HIM FOR STREP THROAT AND SEE WHAT IS GOING ON. MOST CASES OKUR IN CHILDREN BETWEEN AGES 4 AND 12. IT CAN TAKE WEEKS FOR SYMPTOMS TO SUBSIDE. MANY OF THE CHILDREN WILL RELAPSE AND ALONG WITH TICKS AN TANTRUMS AND OCD, A REFUSAL TO EAT IS ANOTHER SYMPTOM ASSOCIATED WITH THIS DISORDER. IT IS SO SCARY. IT IS HARD TO WATCH THAT VIDEO. TANTRUMS, MOST PARENTS HAVE KIDS WITH TANTRUMS, BUT THIS IS WAY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I WOULD EXPECT. RIGHT. AND THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, THE PARENTS SAY THIS IS A SUDDEN CHANGE. THIS HAPPENED OVERNIGHT. OUT OF THE BLUE. JEKYLL AND HYDE. AND SAUL WAS SAYING IT WAS LIKE THE EXORCIST. SO IT IS NOT A GRADUAL THICK. THIS IS SOMETHING — THING. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SUDDENLY HAPPENS TO THESE CHILDREN. AND WE DO KNOW THAT PARENTS ARE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS DISORDER, SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A SPECIAL FACEBOOK CHAT TONIGHT STARTING AT 7:30. I WILL BE JOINED BY DR. ELIZABETH SPAR, THE LOCAL PANDAS EXPERT.

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