CLAWSON, Mich. (WJBK) - A mother is sharing her family's story after he son was diagnosed with PANDAS in hopes that it can bring answers to other families.
"Few doctors can actually recognize it, even fewer can diagnose it and very few can actually treat it properly," says Denise Lamfear. Her son Raymond is healthy and back in school in the third grade now, but they weren't always sure that's the way things would be.
"He had a double ear infection and strep and a fever. Two days later, he was getting ready for bed and he could not physically walk out the door because of the perceived line that he could not cross. So, he had a sudden onset of extreme OCD where he couldn't function; he couldn't go to sleep; he couldn't eat; he couldn't get his hands clean enough; he couldn't function," Denise says.
"I was nervous. I could barely move," says Raymond.
After months of going to many doctors, their family finally had an explanation. Raymond had developed PANDAS, a rare neurological that can appear following a strep infection. It stands for Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections.
"It's where strep actually is misdirected and the antibodies in your body attack your brain and cause imflammation of your brain and causes the sudden onset of OCD, separation anxiety, rage and anger," Denise explains.
She also wants to talk about it and raise awareness because often doctors don't know how to treat it. Many try psychiatric medication, but the symptoms only really go away after the immune system is fixed. Denise and her family visited a specialist in Chicago where her son received IVIG, which is an infusion of donated antibodies that reset the immune system.
"Now we have our Ray back," Denise says, smiling.
If you'd like more information on PANDAS, you can visit www.pandasnetwork.org.