In a recent podcast called Functional Medicine Research, Dr. Scott Antoine was interviewed by the podcast hosts about PANDAS. Dr. Antoine is an osteopathic physician who uses a “fully functional practice model,” and shares his personal story with PANDAS.
Read or listen to the full podcast here.
Dr. Antoine’s daughter developed PANDAS back in 2013 which played a major part in him becoming interested in functional medicine and eventually starting his current functional medicine practice with his wife in Indiana.
Dr. Antoine’s personal experience with PANDAS starts when his daughter Emma was just 12 or 13. She approached her parents and admitted to having some intrusive thoughts. Then she started being consumed with chronic hand-washing. And shortly after, she developed issues with sleeping and controlling her bladder.
Both Dr. Antoine and his wife were physicians but even they were unsure of what was going on with their daughter. Eventually his wife figured out their daughter must have PANDAS.
What is PANDAS?
PANDAS stands for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep. It is caused by a strep throat infection in which the antibodies for the infection cross the blood brain barrier which causes inflammation to the brain and consequently all the neurological symptoms.
There can be a host of behavioral and personality changes including some that Emma had: facial tics and defiance are also common.
The most frustrating part was yet to come. When Dr. Antoine called the head of his local community’s children’s hospital, he was told plainly “Well, PANDAS doesn’t exist.”
The family had to travel all the way to New York to finally get someone who believed their diagnosis and told them their daughter needed to be treated with a blood product called IVIG.
The trouble did not stop there as Dr. Antoine explains how the family faced setbacks and skepticism from nurses, friends, and even pediatric neurologists.
Dr. Antoine also explains how he believes that there may be a connection between other pediatric diseases and PANDAS. He discusses Tourette’s, autism, and other disorders in the podcast.
Dr. Antoine also discusses symptoms to look out for, the effect a diagnosis can have on a family, and how to find a competent doctor after a PANDAS diagnosis.