by Larysa and Jim Durston
In 2013 when Adrian was in Grade 3 he had been treated numerous times (5-6) for strep throat. The treatment was always the same – Amoxicillin. It was not a problem until 2014. One day he started blinking and then a few weeks later he developed vocal tics. His homework was taking hours to complete due to his inability to focus. Adrian was also experiencing severe separation anxiety and mood swings which would lead to crying tantrums.
For his blinking issues we went to a specialist trying various treatments such as eye glasses, drops for dry eyes but nothing seemed to help.
It wasn’t until we saw the W5 program about children and strep (http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-investigates-possible-links-between-common-infection-and-psychiatric-and-neurological-disorders-in-children-1.2233854), that we realized that Adrian more than likely had PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections).
Adrian also has a condition known as left ventricular cardiomyopathy which puts a greater concern when it comes to strep bacteria. We took Adrian to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children the next morning and explained that we believed Adrian had PANDAS. The doctor was not convinced regarding a PANDAS diagnosis but prescribed Amoxicillin/Clavulin to help treat the strep infection that was present in his throat. Within two weeks of treatment his symptoms of blinking and vocal tics disappeared. Unfortunately his symptoms reappeared within a month.
We sought help from Dr. Wendy Edwards and she advised that the entire family should be tested for strep via a blood test. The results confirmed that Adrian’s diagnosis of PANDAS as well as my younger son being a carrier of strep. Both children were placed on antibiotic therapy for a few months, which resulted in an obvious improvement in Adrian’s condition. We also made contact with a dental company, Oravital, which makes an antibiotic rinse to help decrease the cross contamination of strep between the siblings.
Adrian’s symptoms flare up whenever he comes in contact with strep but not as severely as what he experienced at the beginning. Hopefully in the near future the diagnosis and treatment for PANDAS will be easier to get as well as help from the government to help cover the cost of treatment and blood test.
This would help us reach our goal of returning Adrian to the healthy, happy child he was before all this began.