PANDAS or PANS is an acronym that stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders (Associated with Streptococcal Infections). In 2010, PANDAS became PANS, which is the current proper term for it, so you may hear both.

Autoimmunity is a common problem in autism. In the case of PANS the immune system will attack the brain. It is common when there has been an external stressor in life or an internal one such as an infection that there will be a PANS “flare-up”. This term is used when the infection becomes prominent causing many physical and behavioral issues.

Some symptoms of PANS include, Strep throat, flu-like symptoms, tiks, a reduction in language and speech, aggression, or a sudden onset of OCD, or anxiety. Other infections that are known to trigger PANS can be Lyme disease, and mold biotoxins due to the inflammation.

Proper antibody screening can help to detect PANS. Dr. Madeleine Cunningham has developed a test panel to determine the extent of a PANS infection. In this interview we will discuss autoimmunity, PANDAS and autism. How all of this effects a child (immune system, behaviors, neurotransmitters, etc) and the “Cunningham Panel” for screening.

Some of the question s we will be answering for you are:

  1. Treatment options in PANDAS
    and there are 4 treatment guidelines that I can offer to send to you to
    help parents. They are published in journals for their doctors and they can read them too.
  2. What does autoimmunity mean in PANDAS and PANS?
    Let’s talk about the panel of antibodies.
  3. How would the panel of antibodies get performed?
    Through Moleculera Labs in Oklahoma City. There is a website.
    Moleculera. com or call 405-239-5250 to get help.
  4. What about insurance….different in every state and I can talk
    about what we are doing in Oklahoma ….legislature trying to
    pass law that insurance has to be paid for the Ab panel test.
  5. What is autoimmunity and inflammation in the brain called?
    Encephalitis which is a term we have not been using until just
    the last couple of years.
  6. The antibodies against the dopamine receptors are now listed
    in the new position paper on autoimmune psychoses which lists
    PANDAS and Sydenham Chorea as diseases which are considered
    an encephalitis
  7. What about PANDAS in Autism? Is it comorbid?
  8. New article out this year on Lyme disease and the panel of
    antibodies where the anti-lysoganglioside Ab is positive and the
    CaMKII is positive.
  9. What is the CaMKII test?

Please listen to my radio show interview with autoimmunity and PANS expert, Dr. Madeleine Cunningham.

Medeleine Cunningham, PhD

Madeleine Cunningham, PhD is the George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Presbyterian Health Foundation Presidential Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and for the past 20 years has been the Director of the NIAID funded Immunology Training Program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Cunningham is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Moleculera Labs. Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory has studied molecular mimicry, autoimmunity and infection related to inflammatory heart disease for the past 30 years. She has pioneered the development of human mAbs in understanding the pathogenesis of human diseases. Currently her laboratory is focused on
translational research of human diseases, to improve their diagnosis and treatment and determine how infections play a role in inflammatory diseases of the heart and brain. She has been the recipient of NHLBI Career Development Award and NHLBI MERIT Award and has been funded by NIH for the past 32 years. She is author of over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and speaks nationally and internationally on the findings of her research.

Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory studies the role of autoimmunity, inflammation and infection in movement and behavioral disorders associated with group A streptococcal infections, including Sydenham chorea, the neurologic manifestation of rheumatic fever, and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococci (PANDAS ) and/or Pediatric Acute Onset
Neurologic Syndrome to determine the presence and role of anti-neuronal autoantibodies which may signal in the brain in these diseases. Her research also investigates PANDAS and PANS in Autism Spectrum Disorders which was supported by two Trail Blazer Awards from Autism Speaks.

Dr. Madeleine Cunningham’s paper on Anti-Neuronal activity from Lyme Disease.

Dr. Madeleine Cunningham’s paper on OCD and tiks.

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