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PANS/PANDAS Specialist

OC Integrative Medical Center

Integrative Medicine located in Newport Beach, CA

PANS/PANDAS is a severe form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that develops in young children. At OC Integrative Medical Center in Newport Beach, California, Chitra Bhakta, MD, understands how quickly the signs and symptoms of PANS/PANDAS can impact a child’s emotional growth and development. For those who haven’t seen results with other providers, Dr. Bhakta takes a holistic approach to treatment. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more.



Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS) and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) are severe forms of OCD in children that develop very suddenly, often within a matter of days.

What causes PANS/PANDAS?

Researchers believe PANDAS occurs in some children who have had the Streptococcus pyogenes strep infection. It likely develops when autoimmune antibodies mistakenly attack the body’s basal ganglia, an area of the brain, rather than the strep infection itself.

Much like PANDAS, PANS also occurs in response to infectious or environmental triggers, including Lyme disease, mycoplasma, mononucleosis, or even the H1N1 flu virus.

Both conditions cause similar symptoms that begin suddenly and rapidly in children.

What are the symptoms of PANS/PANDAS?

While the symptoms of pediatric OCD typically build gradually, PANS/PANDAS are sudden and severe conditions that can quickly lead to:

  • Extreme anxiety
  • Tics
  • Decline in math and handwriting skills
  • Restrictive eating and anorexia
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden separation anxiety
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Purposeless motor movement
  • Sleep disturbances

In some cases, PANS/PANDAS develops months after the initial infection of strep, Lyme disease, or other infectious disease because the antibiotics used to treat it never fully eradicated all the bacteria.

What are the treatments for PANS/PANDAS?

Both PANS and PANDAS require a clinical diagnosis, meaning there are no lab or imaging tests to diagnose these conditions. Instead, Dr. Bhakta uses a set of diagnostic criteria to distinguish the symptoms of PANS/PANDAS from similar pediatric conditions, such as pediatric OCD.

Dr. Bhakta takes a holistic approach to PANS/PANDAS treatment. She has a proprietary line of supplements that she recommends to detoxify the body and replenish its supply of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Anti-inflammatory diets can also be beneficial for children with PANS/PANDAS, as chronic inflammation can prevent the body from working the way it should. Limiting inflammation may help improve behavior and anxiety.

Every PANS/PANDAS treatment plan is personalized for each of Dr. Bhakta’s pediatric patients. If you suspect your child is showing symptoms of PANS or PANDAS, call OC Integrative Medical Center to schedule a diagnostic consultation or book online today.