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Strep throat led to severe OCD, hallucinations, and anxiety in a child. Here’s how. I’m Kyle Kittleson. This is your MedCircle Weekly News.
The Stimpert family took their 5-year-old son, Sawyer, to see a doctor after a series of obsessive-compulsive behavior. After being diagnosed with strep throat and referred to another specialist, Sawyer was diagnosed with PANDAS or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep.
According to the article,
For kids with PANDAS, strep triggers their immune system to produce antibodies that should attack the infection, but instead attack the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls behaviors, emotions, and movement.
For Sawyer, this meant obsessive washing, changing clothes multiple times a day, and hallucinating the grim reaper in his bathroom mirror.
With medications, therapy, and intravenous treatments, Sawyer’s symptoms are mostly under control - although there are days where he cannot attend school and his parents must miss work.
According to the PANDAS network, roughly 1 in 200 children in the United States have PANDAS, with boys being infected five times more than girls.
OCD is hard to manage, especially in children - so for more actionable advice on effectively managing OCD, watch our original series with Dr. Yip.
This content is intended for informational purposes only. It should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your doctor immediately.