Pandas/Pans is a clinical diagnosis based on symptomatic presentation. There is blood work that is supportive of a diagnosis but there are too many variables involved to rely solely on the lab results.

The current diagnostic criteria for PANDAS includes the following five symptoms:

  • Presence of obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or a tic disorder
  • Paedriatic onset of symptoms (age 3 years to puberty)
  • Episodic course of symptom severity
  • Association with group A Beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection (a positive throat culture for strep or history of Scarlet Fever)
  • Association with neurological abnormalities (motoric hyperactivity, or adventitious movements, such as choreiform movements)

Diagnosis Criteria for PANS

Since a diagnosis of PANS implies no specific cause, clinicians will have to evaluate and treat each affected youth on a case-by-case basis; however, the current diagnostic criteria for PANS includes the following three components:

  • Abrupt, dramatic onset of OCD or anorexia
  • Concurrent presence of at least two additional neuropsychiatric symptoms with similarly severe and acute onset. These include: anxiety; mood swings and depression; aggression, irritability and oppositional behaviors; developmental regression; sudden deterioration in school performance or learning abilities; sensory and motor abnormalities; somatic signs and symptoms
  • Symptoms are not explained by a known neurological/medical disorder