Boston, MA – January 27, 2010 – The PANDAS Foundation (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) has launched its “got strep?” campaign, designed to alert caregivers and physicians to the nontraditional ways that strep can present itself. Early intervention can prevent an autoimmune response that can cause mental and behavioral disorders in children including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette Syndrome.
“Shockingly, there are as many children in the United States who are afflicted with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as there are with diabetes,” says Beth Alison Maloney, the author of Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD and Founder of the PANDAS Foundation. “My son was destined for a life of hospitalizations and long-term placements in treatment facilities until we discovered that strep was the root cause of his OCD and Touretteʼs,” says Maloney. “He is now fully recovered and has been
symptom free for five years. I want to make sure that no other child suffers needlessly as he did.”
The compelling case for strep-induced mental illness is reported in the article “From Throat to Mind,” which appears in the January/February 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind. Top researchers believe that many cases may be linked to common pediatric strep.
“The Foundationʼs first goal is to ensure that no child is diagnosed with a mental disorder before strep is ruled out as an underlying cause,” says Deb Curran, the Foundationʼs President. To that end, the PANDAS Foundation has assembled an army of nationwide volunteers to distribute 50,000 “got strep?” cards. The 4 x 6 cards list the many manifestations of strep beyond the usual sore throat and fever. Distribution efforts begin this week and will target physicians, clinics, schools, day care centers and parent organizations. “We plan to bring PANDAS to the forefront of national attention,” says Curran, “and
this campaign is the first step.”
About the PANDAS Foundation:
The mission of the PANDAS Foundation is to support research, advocacy, public education, and awareness for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep so that PANDAS becomes as recognizable as diabetes. To find out more information on PANDAS or to volunteer in the “got strep?” campaign, email Maloney at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pandasfoundation.org