NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley has declared October 9 as PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day in North Myrtle Beach.
PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. PANS stands for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome.
Children with PANDAS or PANS may experience sudden dramatic change in personality and Obessesive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) like symptoms as well as tics, anxiety, depression, behavioral regression, deterioration in school performance, sensory sensitivities, severely restricted food intake, and more.
Mayor Hatley's decision came after Claire Calhoun, a local volunteer for the PANDAS/PANS Research Advocacy Institute (PRAI), approached her to talk about the need to make more people with children aware of PANDAS/PANS related illnesses and their symptoms. Claire's son, Sam, has PANS.
A conservative estimate is that there are 162,000 cases of PANDAS/PANS in the United States alone. PANDAS/PANS is likely as common as Pediatric Cancer and Pediatric Diabetes, and can seriously affect the healthy outcome of a child's life.
For more information on PANDAS/PANS, please visit www.pandasnetwork.org.