PANDAS is a group of conditions observed in some children with strep infections. The word PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. It is usually seen in children between 3 to 12 years, and sometimes in adolescents, after strep. throat. The symptoms often begin unexpectedly or appear overnight. This condition presents with a sudden onset or worsening of obsessive-compulsive behaviors and vocal or motor tics in some children after a streptococcal infection such as strep throat or scarlet fever. Other behavioral symptoms such as excessive irritability, mood changes, or anxiety attacks may occur in some children. Homeopathic medicines for PANDAS include medication prescribed for managing the symptoms.

Role of homeopathy in PANDAS

Although strep throat is common in children, PANDAS can be difficult to manage. Homeopathic medicines can help relieve anxiety and other symptoms associated with PANDAS. These are individualized medicines prescribed after considering the patient as being sick and not just a part of their body. Constitutional homeopathic remedies can reduce irritability, behavioral changes, and other neuropsychiatric complaints.

Six effective homeopathic medicines for PANDAS

Aconitum napellus

Common name: Monkshood

Aconitum napellus is indicated for relieving anxiety. It can be particularly useful in sudden extreme fear, panic, or anxiety as seen in PANDAS. Aconite is indicated when symptoms are associated with restlessness, rapid heartbeat, obsessive behavior like repetitive fearful thoughts, and difficulty sleeping. There may be occasional numbness in the hands and feet. It is helpful to relieve colds with sneezing, and dryness in the nose and throat, often affected by cool, dry air.

Arsenicum album

Common name: Arsenic trioxide

Arsenicum album helps reduce anxiety, worry, irritability, and restlessness. This remedy is indicated when there is extreme restlessness or fidgety behavior, with the need to change places constantly and the need for perfectionism. Obsessive behaviors towards cleanliness or organizing in a particular manner may be seen. Other symptoms include noticeable fear, extreme fatigue, constrictive feeling in the chest, mood changes, increased sensitivity, and confusion. The complaints may worsen at night and drinking water helps. It is useful for stuffy nose, and burning pain in the throat while swallowing.

Calcarea carbonica

Common name: Carbonate of lime

Calcarea carbonica can help manage obsessive-compulsive behaviors with continuous thoughts of a particular thing. There is a fear of losing everything, catching infections, or dreadful illness. Other symptoms include anxiety, dislike for mental work, slow thinking, forgetfulness, difficulty in academics, delayed milestones, and regression. Symptoms may be worse in the evening. It is helpful in children tending to catch colds easily, sensitive to weather changes, throat infections, tonsillitis, and swallowing difficulty.

Matricaria chamomilla

Common name: German chamomile

Chamomilla can help relieve anxiety, soothe the senses, and reduce irritability. It helps manage restless behavior, fear, intolerance, and oversensitivity to touch, light, sound, and other senses. Other symptoms include anger, mood changes, demanding things and throwing away, continuous complaining, not seeming to be satisfied, and inconsolable crying, sometimes associated with pain and numbness. It is helpful in fever conditions, sore throat, cold with ear pain, and teething problems.

Gelsemium sempervirens

Common name: Yellow jasmine

Gelsemium is helpful to relieve anxiety, restlessness, and obsessive thoughts. There is fear of falling, nervous chills, and fatigue. Other symptoms include feeling drowsy, dull, and dizzy, with muscular weakness, trembling, and coordination problems. It can also help with headaches, swallowing difficulty, sore throat, and bedwetting.

Lycopodium clavatum

Common name: Clubmoss

Lycopodium is indicated for obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and oversensitivity, as seen in PANDAS. It helps relieve nervousness and fear of being alone. Other symptoms include lack of confidence, confused thoughts, difficulty concentrating, difficulty in learning, reading, or writing, and weak memory. Lycopodium is indicated when learning new things is difficult with complaints of brain fag and inattention.

Causative factors for PANDAS

PANDAS is an individual’s response to Group A Strep infection. Once they enter the body, Strep. bacteria can hide under similar-looking molecules of other body tissues. Thus, they remain undetected and can live within the body tissues for long. The bacteria can hide in tissues in joints, the heart, the skin, and the brain. Eventually, the individual’s immune system recognizes these molecules as foreign bodies and attacks them. The individual’s body produces antibodies against the hidden strep bacteria and similar-looking molecules. It can occur in the brain tissue and can lead to neuropsychiatric symptoms such as tics and obsessive behaviors in PANDAS.

Certain risk factors identified for the occurrence of PANDAS in children include having frequent strep infections or having a family history of autoimmune disorders or rheumatic fever.

Symptoms of PANDAS

Obsessive-compulsive behavior

The child may show excessive fear and behave in a particular way. Stress thoughts or some images may come to mind repeatedly. Walking peculiarly to avoid something, arranging things in a specific manner, or bearing fears about certain things may be seen. The child may repeat the same tasks, wash things over and over again, and think or talk about the same thing without being able to stop.

Tics

Tics are purposeless motor movements. The child may make sudden movements like jerking the head, blinking, or grunting sounds.

Mood changes

The child may show sudden changes in mood, irritability, or rage. The child may not have any interest in eating or drinking anything or show disordered eating.

Anxiety or depression

The child may have anxiety attacks or show separation anxiety, such as avoiding being away from caregivers. The child may feel anxious, have known and unknown anxiety, or experience fear of eating certain foods or choking.

Restlessness

Symptoms similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may appear or become worse if already present. The child may be restless, talkative, fidgeting, inattentive, and sometimes aggressive.

Motor changes

The child may present with sudden motor coordination difficulties that can result in problems in movements and handwriting. Difficulty in concentrating, writing, and reading can result in academic decline.

Behavioral regression

Children can exhibit behaviors that they have outgrown. Showing baby talk, clingy behavior, or suddenly behaving much younger than their age is common.

Sensory issues

The child may show oversensitivity to light, sound, and food textures, be intolerant to certain clothes or touch, and have olfactory concerns.

Other symptoms include difficulty in sleeping, frequent urination or bedwetting, joint pains, and changes in the severity of symptoms.

Treatment of PANDAS

Proper clinical evaluation and history-taking help in the diagnosis of PANDAS. It is identified by following the criteria for PANDAS as sudden onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms like tics and obsessive-compulsive behaviors following a strep infection in children. Active strep infection is managed medically with antibiotics.

Psychotherapy helps manage neuropsychiatric symptoms and cope with emotional challenges. Behavior therapy can help reduce tics, obsessive behaviors, and other symptoms. Following preventive measures to maintain hygiene, covering the nose while sneezing, and washing hands frequently or after using the washroom is necessary.

Conclusion

PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, can show sudden changes in a child’s behavior. This group of conditions presents with tics, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, emotional disturbances, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms. There is a sudden onset of symptoms following a strep throat or Group A Streptococcal infection. Homeopathic medicines for PANDAS can help relieve the neuropsychiatric symptoms. They can help reduce anxiety, obsessive behaviors, tics, mood changes, and academic difficulties. Homeopathic remedies can relieve your symptoms of PANDAS. For safe and effective homeopathic treatment it is better to take advice from a qualified homeopathic doctor.

References

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