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PANS Research and Advocacy Initiative

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PANDAS Advisory Council Bill Passes Both Senate and House

Chesterfield, VA, March 02, 2017 --( Virginia is paving the way for families with children who suffer from the devastating affects of a group of disorders called PANDAS/PANS. This week, the Senate passed HB2404 which would create an advisory council to the Commissioner of Health to address the complexities of these horrifying disorders.

PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) Similarly PANS stands for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. Symptoms include abrupt, in many cases overnight, onset of OCD, severe separation anxiety, anorexia, motor and vocal tics, oppositional defiant disorders, behavioral regression, ADHD, bed-wetting, and decline in math and writing skills.

PANDAS/PANS are estimated to affect roughly 1 in 200 children between the ages of 3 and 12 in the United States, however, the exact number is unknown.

Families living this nightmare go to an average of 8 doctors across the span of 3 years searching for an answer as to what happened to their child before finding a practitioner who finally diagnoses their children with PANDAS/PANS.

HB2404 will work towards changing that by advising the Commissioner of Health on research, diagnosis, treatment, and education relating to these identified disorders and syndromes referred to by the National Institute of Mental Health as PANDAS and PANS.

NIMH has estimated 25-30% of all childhood mental illness may be preventable through appropriate treatment of PANDAS/PANS.

LaDonna Branson, VP and Co-Founder of PANS Research and Advocacy Initiative (PRAI), a non-profit research and advocacy organization behind the bill, says, "It's a huge win for the 200 Virginia families we serve. We are committed to ensuring every pediatrician in the state considers PANDAS/PANS when a child comes in with OCD, tics and anxiety. If caught early, the NIMH suggests that most children can put the disorder into remission with a simple long term antibiotic treatment to treat the underlying strep infection. If left untreated, it can leave long lasting and even permanent damage to a child's brain. I am proud of Virginia legislatures for their overwhelming support and excited about the potential this council has."

To learn more about PANDAS/PANS you can visit the PANS Research and Advocacy Initiative online.
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PANS Research and Advocacy Initiative
Jessica Gavin

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