Did you know the bacteria that can cause strep throat could also be to blame for leaving a normal child with OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? It's a rare complication called PANDAS, which is short for Pediatric Auto-immune Neuro-Psychiatric Disorders. It means that same little bug that causes strep throat can affect the mental status of a child as well.
Dr. Max Wiznitzer said, "There's a lot of different behavior problems that can be acquired or caught depending on what part of the brain is involved." "The important thing is all of these are rare. It's much more likely that the mental health condition has another reason, not because you caught it from an infection."
However, if it really is PANDAS and not some other problem, symptoms can include a sudden onset or worsening of facial tics in children between the age of three and ten. It can also trigger sudden uncharacteristic behaviors like hyperactivity, separation anxiety or age regression. For example this child's handwriting skills reversed to a younger state.
Just like strep throat, the condition can be treated with antibiotics. Again, this is an uncommon complication. However, parents should know that sometimes sudden unusual behavior can be triggered by the streptococcus bacteria.
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