October 9, 2020: PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes (PANS) are neuropsychiatric conditions that are associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); and,


WHEREAS, a diagnosis of PANDAS or PANS means a child has a sudden, dramatic change in personality displayed as OCD, which can manifest as intense fear or anxiety, together with accompanying symptoms following a strep, bacterial, or viral infection. These symptoms may include tics, anxiety, depression, behavioral regression, deterioration in school performance, sensory sensitivities, severely restricted food intake, and more; and,


WHEREAS, researchers have begun to substantiate that this syndrome involves a misdirected autoimmune process that affects or weakens the Blood Brain Barrier. The inflammatory process irritates a region of the brain that manages a variety of functions such as movement, cognitive perception, habit, executive "logic based" thinking, emotions, and the endocrine system; and,


WHEREAS, PANDAS Network estimates that PANDAS and PANS affects as many as 1 in 200 children in the United States, is likely as common as Pediatric Cancer and Pediatric Diabetes, and can seriously affect the health outcomes of a child; and,


WHEREAS, PANDAS/PANS is often misdiagnosed and undertreated. Treatment varies by the needs of the child, but may include antibiotics, steroids, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), plasmapheresis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications; and,


WHEREAS, PANDAS Network is a 501c3 non-profit corporation dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANDAS/PANS and is also a conduit for researchers to navigate collaborations and the medical community to find information; and,


WHEREAS, it is imperative that there be greater public awareness of this health issue and more action at the local, state, and national levels, so that affected children can be identified and treated early;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2020, as PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day in Michigan.