Strep Linked to OCD, Behavioral Issues in Kids

Kim LaCapria - Author
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Jun. 17 2013, Updated 2:54 a.m. ET

One of the more common ailments of childhood is strep throat- an inconvenient condition that generally requires a time off school, a trip to the pediatrician and a course of antibiotics to correct.

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But researchers have also possibly linked the infection to a host of bizarre and worrying behavioral issues in children, like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and tics. The suspected condition already has a name, Pandas (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus), and according to the Wall Street Journal, has been linked with anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, anorexia and urinary problems associated with strep infections. Susan Swedo, chief of pediatrics and developmental neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health, spoke to the WSJ about the scary link, and first noticed the connection back in the 90s. She explains:

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“Parents have used the word ‘possessed…’ Their sweet, wonderful child turns into a monster seemingly overnight.”

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If that sounds like typical toddler behavior to you, you could be forgiven. However, what parents describe goes above and beyond toddler mood swings.

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