The relationship between group A streptococcal infections and Tourette syndrome

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center-Pediatric Neurology, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.51). 06/2011; 53(10):883-4. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.04029.x
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Available from: Donald L Gilbert, Dec 29, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics of a novel group of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorders, designated as pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal (group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal [GABHS]) infections (PANDAS). The authors conducted a systematic clinical evaluation of 50 children who met all of the following five working diagnostic criteria: presence of OCD and/or a tic disorder, prepubertal symptom onset, episodic course of symptom severity, association with GABHS infections, and association with neurological abnormalities. The children's symptom onset was acute and dramatic, typically triggered by GABHS infections at a very early age (mean = 6.3 years, SD = 2.7, for tics; mean = 7.4 years, SD = 2.7, for OCD). The PANDAS clinical course was characterized by a relapsing-remitting symptom pattern with significant psychiatric comorbidity accompanying the exacerbations; emotional lability, separation anxiety, nighttime fears and bedtime rituals, cognitive deficits, oppositional behaviors, and motoric hyperactivity were particularly common. Symptom onset was triggered by GABHS infection for 22 (44%) of the children and by pharyngitis (no throat culture obtained) for 14 others (28%). Among the 50 children; there were 144 separate episodes of symptom exacerbation; 45 (31%) were associated with documented GABHS infection, 60 (42%) with symptoms of pharyngitis or upper respiratory infection (no throat culture obtained), and six (4%) with GABHS exposure. The working diagnostic criteria appear to accurately characterize a homogeneous patient group in which symptom exacerbations are triggered by GABHS infections. The identification of such a subgroup will allow for testing of models of pathogenesis, as well as the development of novel treatment and prevention strategies.
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections increase the risk of developing symptoms characteristic of the diagnosis pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS). Prospective cohort study. Children (N = 814) aged 4 to 11 years seen for sore throat or well-child care in a large pediatric practice in Rochester, NY, were enrolled from October 2001 to June 2002 (group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal [GAS] infected, n = 411; GAS uninfected, n = 403, of whom 207 had a sore throat of presumed viral etiology and 196 were well children). Symptomatic children with GAS infection (n = 399) were treated with antibiotics. At baseline and 2 and 12 weeks following baseline, all parents completed a 20-item questionnaire about the presence/absence of recent PANDAS symptoms in their children, and capable children answered 10 items about worries, obsessions, and compulsions. The relative risk of developing a "mild PANDAS variant" (> or = 2 new PANDAS symptoms) by illness type (GAS positive, presumed viral, or well child) and by parent and child report was determined and adjusted for potential covariates. By parent report, ill children more frequently manifested several PANDAS symptoms at baseline than well children. However, neither new symptoms nor the risk of developing a mild PANDAS variant developed during the subsequent 12 weeks more commonly in children with GAS infection than in those with presumed viral illness or in well children by parent or child report. Ill children with GAS infection, treated for their GAS infection, were not at increased risk for developing PANDAS symptoms or a mild PANDAS variant compared with children with presumed viral illness or well children. The role of antibiotics in the prevention or treatment of PANDAS as well as the investigation of PANDAS in the asymptomatic, infectious host deserves future research.
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS) research is based on the hypothesis that infections trigger changes in behavior and movement in children. We enrolled 693 children (ages 3 to 12 years) into a systematic, longitudinal study. Data were collected monthly for 8 months (October-May) to determine point prevalence of Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infections, tics, behavior, and choreiform movements. Simultaneous throat cultures were obtained, and relational analyses were made between GAS and movement/observation ratings. Combined behavior/GAS associations (concurrent with or 3 subsequent months to GAS) revealed a strong relationship, relative risk (RR) of 1.71 (p < .0001). Detailed analysis revealed that balance/swaying and non-tic grimacing were responsible for a significant proportion of this association (RR = 2.92, p < .0001). A strong seasonal pattern was found, with fall being more significant for GAS infections and observation ratings (p < .0001) compared with winter/spring. Children with repeated streptococcus (n = 64) showed higher rates of behavior and distal choreiform observations (p = .005). Motor/behavior changes were noted to occur in relationship to positive GAS culture with support that repeated GAS increases risk.
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