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  • Children With PANS May Manifest POTS. Frontiers in neurology Chan, A., Gao, J., Houston, M., Willett, T., Farhadian, B., Silverman, M., Tran, P., Jaradeh, S., Thienemann, M., Frankovich, J. 2022; 13: 819636


    Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) is characterized by an abrupt-onset of severe psychiatric symptoms including OCD, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, and sleep issues which is thought to be a post-infection brain inflammatory disorder. We observed postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) which resolved with immunomodulation in a patient with Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS). Here, we aim to present a case of POTS and to examine the prevalence of (POTS) in our PANS cohort, and compare the clinical characteristics of patients with and without POTS.We conducted this cohort study of patients meeting PANS criteria who had at least three clinic visits during the study period. We included data from prospectively collected questionnaires and medical record review. We present a case followed by statistical comparisons within our cohort and a Kaplan-Meier analysis to determine the time-dependent risk of a POTS diagnosis.Our study included 204 patients: mean age of PANS onset was 8.6 years, male sex (60%), non-Hispanic White (78%). Evidence of POTS was observed in 19/204 patients (9%) with 5/19 having persistent POTS defined as persistent abnormal orthostatic vitals, persistent POTS symptoms, and/or continued need for pharmacotherapy for POTS symptoms for at least 6 months). In this PANS cohort, patients with POTS were more likely to have comorbid joint hypermobility (63 vs 37%, p = 0.04), chronic fatigue (42 vs 18%, p = 0.03), and a family history of chronic fatigue, POTS, palpitations and syncope. An unadjusted logistic regression model showed that a PANS flare (abrupt neuropsychiatric deterioration) was significantly associated with an exacerbation of POTS symptoms (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.4-7.6, p < 0.01).Our study describes a high prevalence of POTS in patients with PANS (compared to the general population) and supports an association between POTS presentation and PANS flare within our cohort.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fneur.2022.819636

    View details for PubMedID 35557616

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9086964

  • Association of Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome With Microstructural Differences in Brain Regions Detected via Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging. JAMA network open Zheng, J. n., Frankovich, J. n., McKenna, E. S., Rowe, N. C., MacEachern, S. J., Ng, N. N., Tam, L. T., Moon, P. K., Gao, J. n., Thienemann, M. n., Forkert, N. D., Yeom, K. W. 2020; 3 (5): e204063


    Epidemiological studies indicate a link between obsessive-compulsive disorder and infections, particularly streptococcal pharyngitis. Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) manifests suddenly with obsessions, compulsions, and other behavioral disturbances, often after an infectious trigger. The current working model suggests a unifying inflammatory process involving the central nervous system, particularly the basal ganglia.To investigate whether diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) detects microstructural abnormalities across the brain regions of children with PANS.Case-control study performed at a single-center, multidisciplinary clinic in the United States focusing on the evaluation and treatment of children with PANS. Sixty consecutive patients who underwent 3 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before immunomodulation from September 3, 2012, to March 30, 2018, were retrospectively reviewed for study inclusion. Six patients were excluded by blinded investigators because of imaging or motion artifacts, 3 patients for major pathologies, and 17 patients for suboptimal atlas image registration. In total, 34 patients with PANS before initiation of treatment were compared with 64 pediatric control participants.Using atlas-based MRI analysis, regional brain volume, diffusion, and cerebral blood flow were measured in the cerebral white matter, cerebral cortex, thalamus, caudate, putamen, pallidum, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and brainstem. An age and sex-controlled multivariable analysis of covariance was used to compare patients with control participants.This study compared 34 patients with PANS (median age, 154 months; age range, 55-251 months; 17 girls and 17 boys) and 64 pediatric control participants (median age, 139 months; age range, 48-213 months); 41 girls and 23 boys). Multivariable analysis demonstrated a statistically significant difference in MRI parameters between patients with PANS and control participants (F21,74 = 6.91; P < .001; partial η2 = 0.662). All assessed brain regions had statistically significantly increased median diffusivity compared with 64 control participants. Specifically, the deep gray matter (eg, the thalamus, basal ganglia, and amygdala) demonstrated the most profound increases in diffusivity consistent with the cardinal clinical symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, emotional dysregulation, and sleep disturbances. No statistically significant differences were found regarding volume and cerebral blood flow.This study identifies cerebral microstructural differences in children with PANS in multiple brain structures, including the deep gray matter structures (eg, the thalamus, basal ganglia, and amygdala). Further study of MRI is warranted in prospective, clinical trials as a potential quantitative method for assessing patients under evaluation for PANS.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.4063

    View details for PubMedID 32364596