Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) and Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) are common autoimmune disorders that present with physiological, behavioral, and cognitive challenges. The hallmark of PANS/PANDAS presentation is that the onset is extremely acute, so much so that many parents of children with PANS/PANDAS may report that there was a dramatic change “overnight.”
It is important to remember that PANS/PANDAS is a clinical diagnosis based on the history of acute onset of symptoms, and does not rely on a single lab test. In order to properly diagnose PANS/PANDAS, we take a thorough and extensive medical history, along with a comprehensive and nutritional physical exam. Because of this, our initial consults are about 2.5 hours in length. We prioritize that time for new patients, so that families can share their stories in detail, and we are able to make an appropriate diagnosis.
PANS/PANDAS is associated with an infectious trigger and immune dysregulation, so it is very important that we investigate infectious triggers for your child and work to find the root cause. This helps us develop and tailor an individualized treatment plan for your family, decreasing the severity, duration, and frequency of flares. Among the different infections and sources of inflammation we may investigate, the most common include: Streptococcus, mycoplasma, viruses, yeast overgrowth, parasites, Lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi), Lyme co-infections (Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia), environmental exposures (mold, chemicals, heavy metals, or allergies), and other metabolic factors.
Our office takes a unique and effective approach to the treatment of PANS/PANDAS through an integrative lens. Dr. Wells works closely with our medical doctor, Nancy O’Hara, MD, and our nutritionist, Vicki Kobliner, MSN, RD, to provide a truly holistic plan to support your family. Our approach includes antimicrobial therapy with the use broad-spectrum herbals (which are effective and safe for long term use) and if pharmaceuticals are needed we are able to schedule an appointment with Dr. O’Hara to prescribe as necessary. We also address immune dysregulation by correcting underlying nutrient deficiencies and adding natural anti-inflammatory and immune support.
Because of its dramatic, acute, and severe presentation, PANS/PANDAS can be a devastating illness to the child and the entire family, especially upon first diagnosis. However, with the use of natural and conventional interventions, this illness can be transformed to a manageable and treatable disorder, and children living with PANS/PANDAS can begin to thrive.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
We are highly regarded experts in the biomedical management and care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We believe that Autism manifests due to genetic predispositions, but that there are various environmental factors that play a role in your child’s case. These environmental factors can lead to whole-body dysregulation and dysfunction. We listen carefully to your family’s story and investigate any potential cause of dysfunction, which can include gut dysbiosis, immune dysregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, detoxification impairments, nutrient deficiencies, and metabolic factors–all of which may be treatable with integrative medicine.
In conjunction with a thorough history taking and physical examination, we may decide together to utilize advanced lab testing in order to glean more information about your child.
We are passionate in our belief that AUTISM IS TREATABLE! With our determination to find the root cause of imbalance and our drive to help families, we have seen excellent results firsthand. The positive experiences and successes we have had with our wonderful families continue to push us to develop individualized biomedical plans for each child and family.
LYME DISEASE and LYME CO-INFECTIONS
Our offices are located in Connecticut, the “ground zero” state for Lyme Disease, and because of this, we have years of experience in managing Lyme disease and co-infections. As Lyme-literate doctors trained by ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society), we have chosen to specialize in managing pediatric Lyme and co-infections that contribute to neuropsychiatric symptoms.
We are leaders in treating Lyme disease and co-infections with an integrative and holistic medical approach, understanding that the body must be evaluated as an interconnected system, while implementing conventional medicine and naturopathic modalities in the development of our treatment plans.
After a detailed conversation regarding your medical history and an evaluation of your previous lab work, we perform a comprehensive physical exam and discuss with you our thoughts on pursuing further laboratory testing for Lyme and related co-infections (Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and mycoplasma). The medical history, physical exam, and results of laboratory tests will allow us to develop an individualized and comprehensive treatment protocol, which may utilize broad spectrum herbal antimicrobials, nutrition support, nutraceutical supplementation, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and referrals to further wraparound services.
One concern that many families have upon receiving a diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder, PANS/PANDAS, or other neurodevelopmental disorders, is their child’s readiness to receive immunizations. We work to educate parents on the required vaccination schedule, so that they may feel more comfortable about healthcare decisions for their entire family. Although Dr. Wells does not administer any vaccinations, she provides individualized recommendations for before and after the administration of vaccines, in order to support your child’s immune system and detoxification pathways.
OTHER CONDITIONS TREATED:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)
Infant Feeding Difficulties
Sensory Processing Disorder
Fertility and Preconception Care