Does Group A B-Hemolytic Streptococcal Infection Increase Risk for Behavioral and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Children?

There is some evidence to suggest that children exposed to A-β-Hemolytic streptococcal infections (GAS) are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections or PANDAS. This study followed two groups of children over a 12-week period (those with and without GAS infection) to determine the risk of GAS exposure on the development of PANDAS. The researchers designed a questionnaire for the parents about the presence or absence of recent PANDAS symptoms in their children including 10 items about worries, obsessions or compulsions. Parents reported that ill children more frequently manifested PANDAS symptoms at baseline than well children. However, neither new symptoms nor the risk of developing a mild PANDAS variant developed over the course of the study any more in the children with GAS than in those without.