Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) is a condition that affects children and can manifest in a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Recognizing the early signs is crucial for timely intervention and treatment. This blog aims to shed light on the early signs and symptoms of PANS in children, based on scientific literature.
What is PANS?
PANS is characterized by the “abrupt, dramatic onset of OCD or severely restricted food intake” along with additional neuropsychiatric symptoms. It is essential to note that these symptoms are not better explained by another neurological or medical disorder1.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Abrupt Onset of OCD: One of the most telling signs is a sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) behaviors that were not present before.
Severely Restricted Food Intake: Children may suddenly become extremely picky eaters, to the point where it affects their health.
Anxiety: Increased levels of anxiety that are not typical for the child.
Emotional Lability and/or Depression: Rapid mood swings or signs of depression that are out of character.
Irritability, Aggression, and/or Severely Oppositional Behavior: Sudden changes in behavior, becoming more irritable or aggressive.
Behavioral Regression: Reverting to behaviors that are developmentally inappropriate, like bed-wetting or baby talk.
Deterioration in School Performance: A sudden drop in grades or interest in school activities.
Sensory or Motor Abnormalities: Unexplained sensory sensitivities or motor abnormalities like tics.
Somatic Symptoms: Includes sleep disturbances, enuresis, or frequent urination1.
Recognizing the early signs of PANS is crucial for early intervention, which can significantly impact the child’s quality of life. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, consult a healthcare provider for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.