Comparison of clinical characteristics of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections and childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder

Gail A Bernstein, Andrea M. Victor, Allison J. Pipal, Kyle A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The objectives of this study were to identify unique clinical characteristics of children with pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS) compared with a control group of children with non-PANDAS obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with respect to ancillary symptoms, types of obsessions and compulsions, symptom severity, and co-morbid DSM-IV diagnoses. Method: Classification of PANDAS was based on review of pediatric and psychiatric records using the criteria developed by Swedo and colleagues. Children aged 6-14 with PANDAS (n=21) and non-PANDAS OCD (n=18) were assessed by blind independent evaluators using the PANDAS Questionnaire, Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, Yale Global Tic Severity Scale, and Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV. Results: PANDAS children were significantly more likely to present with separation anxiety, urinary urgency, hyperactivity, impulsivity, deterioration in handwriting, and decline in school performance during their initial episode of neuropsychiatric illness compared with children with OCD. Total tics and vocal tics were more severe in PANDAS children. Separation anxiety disorder and social phobia were more prevalent in non-PANDAS OCD children. Children with non-PANDAS OCD were significantly more likely to include others in their rituals. There were no significant differences between groups on demographics or severity of OCD. Conclusions: Distinguishing clinical characteristics in PANDAS, which included urinary urgency, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and deterioration in handwriting, are linked to basal ganglia functions. These clinical characteristics will aid in the differentiation of PANDAS children for research and clinical purposes and ultimately advance our understanding and treatment of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-340
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

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