Saline Health Foundation will hold two PANS/PANDAS awareness events on Wednesday.
According to a news release for the events, PANS IS pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome. PANDAS is pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus.
"PANDAS is a serious, complex autoimmune disorder that can affect people, (primarily children) when a strep infection triggers a misdirected immune response, resulting in inflammation of the brain. The disorder is characterized by a sudden onset of neuropsychiatric disorders, including severe anxiety, depression, OCD, behavioral and learning regression, facial tics and more. If strep cannot be linked to the onset of symptoms, PANS caused by a different infection should be considered," the release said.
It is believed one in 200 children are affected by PANS/PANDAS.
“Finding the root cause for these symptoms is imperative,” said Matt Brumley, director of the Saline Health Foundation. “If the onset is a result of PANS/PANDAS, a person can possibly be saved from a lifetime of suffering.”
At 10:30 a.m., people will gather in the Health Education Building and Saline Memorial Hospital.
Brumley and Saline CEO Michael Stewart will both speak. State Sen. Kim Hammer will give updates about legislation that was signed earlier this year by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Senate Bill 252, which created an interdisciplinary team to create a protocol for treatment and diagnosis and require insurance companies to pay for treatments and diagnosis of PANS/PANDAS.
One of the families affected by PANS/PANDAS will also speak.
There will be a photo taken of the supporters at the end.
At noon, the foundation's Facebook page will host a Facebook live question and answer session. Physician Assistant Natalie Bradford, who is very active in the treatment of PANS/PANDAS patients, will lead the Facebook live.
Brumley said the Facebook Live allows those who couldn't attend the earlier event to participate and learn more. Many people who joined last year's event weren't even from the area.
"Last year we had almost 20,000 engages in the Q & A," he said. "It blew us away."
Brumley feels as an organization PANS/PANDAS awareness is important for the Foundation.
"We exist to enhance the health of our community," he said.
He added they understand many in the community struggle with this issue, not only the patients but their families and loved ones.
He feels that because the Foundation is aware of PANS/PANDAS it is its duty to raise awareness for others.
The Foundation is raising funds to raise awareness, provide education for healthcare providers and collaborate with others on the issue. One day Brumley hopes to be able to assist by funding a clinic or providing another way to increase access for the care they need.
To give, supporters can follow the link on the Foundation Facebook page or visit www.salinehealthfoundation.org.
Brumley encourages the community to attend or take part in the Facebook live and learn more about PANS/PANDAS.