Two female researchers.

New Research on Infection-triggered Neuropsychiatric Disorders in Children

Neurology and Psychiatry join forces to study Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes (PANS)

March 1, 2018

To help children with infection- or immune-triggered neuropsychiatric disorders, a team of clinical researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (Shannon Delaney, MD, from the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center and Wendy Vargas, MD, from Pediatric Neurology) will join basic scientists (Dritan Agalliu, PhD, and Tyler Cutforth from the Department of Neurology) to both study and care for children and young adults afflicted with these serious disorders. The criteria for PANDAS were modified in 2012 by Dr. Susan Swedo of the NIH to include a larger group of acute-onset environmentally-triggered disorders, now known collectively as PANS (Pediatric Acute-onseet Neuropsychiatric Syndromes). The diagnosis of PANDAS is made when it is clear that infection with Group A Strep is connected to the onset of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and/or Tics. PANS widens the scope to include neuropsychiatric disorders triggered by any infectious agent as well as non-infectious environmental triggers.