PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus.
The syndrome involves sudden and often major changes in personality, behaviour, and movement in children following an infection involving Streptococcus pyogenes (streptococcal-Ainfection).
Strep infections can be mild, causing nothing more than a minor skin infection or sore throat. On the other hand, they can cause severe strep throat, scarlet fever, and other illnesses. Strep is found inside the throat and on the surface of the skin. You contract it when an infected person coughs or sneezes and you breathe in the droplets or touch contaminated surfaces, and then touch your face.
Most people with a strep infection make a full recovery. However, some children develop sudden physical and psychiatric symptoms a few weeks after infection. Once they start, these symptoms tend to rapidly get worse.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of PANDAS start suddenly, about four to six weeks after a strep infection. They include behaviours similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's Syndrome. These symptoms can interfere with schooling and quickly become debilitating. Symptoms worsen and reach their peak usually within two to three days, unlike other childhood psychiatric illnesses that develop more gradually.
Psychological symptoms may include:
obsessive, compulsive, and repetitive behaviors
separation anxiety, fear, and panic attacks
incessant screaming, irritability, and frequent mood changes
emotional and developmental regression
visual or auditory hallucinations
depression and suicidal thoughts
Physical symptoms may include:
tics and unusual movements
sensitivities to light, sound, and touch
deterioration of small motor skills or poor handwriting
hyperactivity or an inability to focus
refusing to eat, which can lead to weight loss
frequent urination and bedwetting
near catatonic state
The best treatment for acute episodes of PANDAS is to treat the strep infection causing the symptoms, if it is still present, with antibiotics.
Information taken from: https://www.healthline.com/health/pandas-syndrome#causes