After 17-year-old Grant Alan Acord was arrested for allegedly planning to plant bombs at his high school, his mother released a statement to CNN through her lawyer. She said, “My heart goes out to everyone affected by Grant’s struggle with PANDAS, a rare form of OCD.”
PANDAS is an acronym for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections. According to the National Institute of Mental Health,
The children [who suffer from PANDAS] usually have dramatic, ‘overnight’ onset of symptoms, including motor or vocal tics, obsessions, and/or compulsions. In addition to these symptoms, children may also become moody, irritable or show concerns about separating from parents or loved ones. This abrupt onset is generally preceded by a Strep throat infection.
What questions do you have about this disorder? Do you — or someone you know — have experience with PANDAS?
- Ajit N. Jetmalani: Head of child psychiatry at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital