The PANS classification was introduced in 2012 by a team of researchers and medical experts from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). PANS is caused when an infectious agent (or multiple agents) triggers your child’s immune system to malfunction. The body produces antibodies to fight the infection. But with PANS patients, those antibodies are ‘misguided’ and instead of attacking the infectious agent, they attack the healthy cells in the basal ganglia section of the brain, causing inflammation and symptoms.
PANS is characterized by an abrupt onset of obsessive-compulsive (OCD) behaviors or severely restricted food intake, along with the concurrent presence of severe and acute neuropsychiatric symptoms from at least two of the following categories: anxiety; emotional lability or depression; irritability, aggression and/or severe oppositional behaviors; behavioral (developmental) regression sudden deterioration in school performance; motor or sensory abnormalities; somatic signs and symptoms (including sleep disturbance, urinary frequency and enuresis).