Rare Condition Triggers Behavioral Disorders In Cases Of Strep Throat

It's that time of year again. Not the holidays, but strep throat season.It's a common and painful infection fo...

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 10:51 AM
Updated: Dec 21, 2017 10:51 AM

It's that time of year again. Not the holidays, but strep throat season.

It's a common and painful infection for young kids that's usually cured by antibiotics. But for a few children, strep can trigger bizarre behavioral disorders such as severe tantrums, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even tics.

It's a rare complication caused by an immune system that attacks the strep bacteria and the child's brain. The Markowitz family says their son went from being happy-go-lucky to a totally different kid seemingly overnight.

Saul and Bonnie say they remember the day their world changed forever in February 2007.

"It was almost psychotic," Bonnie said.

Their son Brandon was five and a half when he suddenly changed, showing tantrums that couldn't be controlled and debilitating OCD.

His parents say Brandon just wasn't being Brandon.

"One day he's doing his thing really happy and wanting to go out and do his thing, and suddenly the next day he wakes up and we aren't sure what's going on," Saul said.

Doctors say it's because of a strep infection Brandon had developed PANDAS, which stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections.

"What that basically means is a child gets an infection and the antibodies to that infection end up attacking the brain instead of the germs," PANDAS expert Dr. Elizabeth Spaar said.

A new documentary called "My Kid is not Crazy" tells the stories of several families whose children suffer from the violent outbursts, tics, and tantrums from PANDAS.

Even though PANDAS is estimated to affect one in 200 children, the condition is often misdiagnosed. Antibiotics are the standard of treatment.

"For the kids where it isn't caught early and misdiagnosed, there can be lifelong effects from it, unfortunately," Dr. Spaar said.

Brandon's case was caught early, and his parents say he's doing well thanks to even more advanced treatments like IVIg, or intravenous immunoglobulin, where the immune system is given a boost with healthy donor antibodies.

While many children have tantrums, OCD, and tics, what makes it PANDAS is the sudden and dramatic onset of the symptoms in a closely related timeframe to a strep infections.

While most cases get better with antibiotics, symptoms can take weeks to go away and many kids relapse.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1506866

Reported Deaths: 20637
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2056892545
Lake1006641508
Allen935801017
Hamilton72876550
St. Joseph64730759
Elkhart49383628
Vanderburgh48286528
Tippecanoe43764336
Johnson38300526
Hendricks36427460
Porter34494473
Madison29024543
Clark25868326
Vigo25633345
LaPorte23430309
Monroe23133247
Howard22089379
Delaware21603368
Hancock18686220
Bartholomew18152215
Kosciusko17921203
Warrick16933214
Wayne16230302
Floyd15876257
Grant15364298
Morgan14409231
Boone13514138
Noble11815141
Dearborn11676113
Henry11667201
Shelby11649151
Marshall11337168
Dubois11257152
Jackson10586104
Cass10269143
DeKalb10202130
Lawrence10196220
Huntington10156139
Gibson9583126
Montgomery9274143
Knox9043125
Harrison8983117
Whitley874371
Steuben8603105
Jasper8252115
Clinton818995
Miami8128133
Putnam8128100
Jefferson7849127
Wabash7827139
Ripley7180114
Adams6658102
Daviess6558129
Scott645186
White620483
Clay607175
Greene6064112
Decatur5967120
Wells5944120
Jennings591680
Fayette5786122
Posey552648
LaGrange529697
Randolph5073129
Washington503669
Owen4976100
Fountain475880
Spencer451756
Sullivan443065
Starke440586
Fulton434192
Orange429582
Jay414664
Rush410237
Perry386455
Carroll381749
Franklin377550
Vermillion358362
Pike323445
Parke322538
Tipton317375
Blackford274055
Pulaski272275
Newton233661
Brown228956
Benton219021
Crawford217532
Switzerland197814
Martin189422
Warren175922
Union170219
Ohio124016
Unassigned0739

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2460869

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2660682065
Cuyahoga2589843018
Hamilton1711291714
Montgomery1142371604
Summit1077801391
Lucas917461160
Butler81317942
Stark759401400
Lorain63561792
Warren51721475
Mahoning50412915
Lake47212605
Clermont45258429
Delaware40037212
Trumbull39108755
Medina38036419
Licking37943408
Fairfield34857334
Greene33267422
Portage31942360
Clark31218445
Richland29019423
Wood28563297
Allen25249395
Miami23567395
Muskingum22859245
Columbiana22539403
Wayne21740356
Tuscarawas19252427
Erie18390222
Ashtabula18260342
Marion18111232
Scioto17366207
Ross16832252
Pickaway15948178
Hancock15761228
Geauga15374223
Lawrence14350186
Belmont13767247
Union1375384
Huron13682182
Jefferson13250258
Sandusky13047199
Athens12272106
Knox11850198
Seneca11762200
Darke11111198
Ashland11022178
Washington10836168
Auglaize10540142
Crawford10172175
Shelby10101157
Brown9734140
Fulton9531150
Guernsey9423117
Highland9396148
Defiance9321135
Logan9228142
Clinton9087127
Mercer8902111
Madison8836106
Preble8265162
Williams8127135
Putnam7922135
Ottawa7809121
Champaign7782112
Jackson7582117
Perry731298
Coshocton7210136
Morrow712882
Fayette688687
Pike640586
Hardin6397128
Gallia614791
Adams6000124
Van Wert5923121
Henry586493
Hocking5718104
Wyandot491590
Carroll4909100
Holmes4814161
Paulding414664
Meigs387473
Monroe307468
Noble289351
Harrison287961
Morgan283348
Vinton247945
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Clear
17° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 10°
Angola
Clear
16° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 16°
Huntington
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 11°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 10°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
16° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 9°
Windy conditions are on tap for Saturday with highs near 30 degrees.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events