IVIG Shows Promise for Treating Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome

March 22, 2021

Extended Dosing Provided Sustained Benefits up to 46 Weeks After Final Infusion

Children who present with sudden and severe neuropsychiatric behaviors such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, tics, anxiety, irritability, and problems with attention and focus are typically diagnosed with either pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) or pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS). PANS/PANDAS can occur in neurotypical children as well as children on the spectrum. However, recognizing and diagnosing PANS/PANDAS in children with autism can be very challenging since many of the symptoms between the two conditions overlap. Last month, a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology investigated Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIG) to determine its effectiveness at treating PANS/PANDAS. The research involved 21 subjects who had moderate to severe PANS. Their ages ranged from 4 to 16 years, with a median age of 10.9 years. Six infusions were included in the study and psychometric assessments were taken at three different points: baseline, end of treatment and early/late follow up visits. Earlier IVIG research involved less infusions. At the conclusion of this study, results showed that after infusions of IVIG all 6 assessment areas of psychological symptoms and dysfunction associated with PANS improved. These treatment benefits lasted for at least 8 weeks and up to 46 weeks for a subset of participants. Given the positive results of this study, the research team is calling for a randomized, placebo controlled trial to ascertain the impact of multiple, sequential IVIG infusions on PANS symptoms. 

Original Article

Original Study Abstract

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