Community Magazine

Autism Recovery – What to Do About PANDAS?

By Matthewspuzzle @matthewspuzzle

Matthew may have PANDAS – Pediatric AutoImmune Neuropsyciatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. Oddly, I never suspected it. I have heard of PANDAS enough in the autism community, but I never thought Matthew exhibited the signs. Then one day he started showing odd behaviors that we had thought we had eradicated. He began flapping his hands and started chewing on clothing and other soft objects. Usually this meant he needed zinc, but this time zinc didn’t help. What could it be? He does not show typical signs of a strep infection although he has swollen tonsils and a slightly red throat. It is believed that the child with PANDAS becomes a carrier and does not exhibit normal strep infection symptoms. Instead they and the bacteria cohabitate and the child’s body makes antibodies to the strep that then cross-react with the brain and trigger the OCD behaviors, tics and other odd movements.

I took Matthew to our current “biomed” doctor and asked for a few blood tests related to the AC Chelation we currently perform. The doctor decided to throw in a few additional tests since we were doing a blood draw anyway. The ASO strep test showed an elevated immune response to strep. After doing a little digging I found Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, a well known “biomed” doctor that was discussing PANDAS. He says there are typically three treatments for PANDAS. The first is plasmaphersis which is the removal of the blood, filtering of the blood to remove the antibodies and then giving the blood back. This is impractical since I don’t know of too many 7 year olds willing to sit through that. The second option is IVIG, which is intravenous immunoglobulin, or concentrated human antibodies which would help remove the bad antibodies Matthew’s body is making to the strep infection. But again this is a long process often requiring many doses and the doses are often not covered by insurance. Without insurance they can run between $2500 and $8000 a dose, making them impractical for most people (us included). Lastly, Dr. Bradstreet discusses the use of two antibiotics (azithromycin or penicillin) for 3 months. This has been successful and is relatively inexpensive. Of course the extensive use of antibiotics has been known to increase yeast, but keeping that in check, the strep infection can be dealt with.

Dr. Bradstreet offers his number for those that think their child may have PANDAS, 321.259.7111. We will be calling Dr. Bradstreet immediately.

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