Tick Control and Lyme Disease meet PANDAS
Don’t let the name fool you. While we've written about how bears could be a commonly overlooked vector for Lyme disease, the acronym PANDAS actually refers to Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections.
PANDAS is a newly minted term used to describe an autoimmune disorder that causes tics, obsessions, compulsions and other symptoms in children. Scientists believe it can be triggered by common bacterial infections; including Lyme disease.
Similar to Sydenham’s Chorea, which is triggered by Group A streptococcal infection and causes an autoimmune reaction in the brain’s basal ganglia, the theory behind PANDAS suggests that the antibodies produced by the body to fight bacterial infection can disrupt basic brain function; manifesting itself in obsessive compulsive behavior like tics.
The most famous cases of this disease occurred in upstate New York, where a group of teenage girls from LeRoy High School started exhibiting Tourette’s-like symptoms including spasms and tics. It’s interesting to note that these girls come from areas with some of the highest rates of tick control problems and Lyme disease in the country.
Currently, there’s no concrete connection between Lyme disease and PANDAS – or even a consensus that the disease exists. The New York State Department of Health is actually insisting that the affected teens are exhibiting “mass hysteria” and are not sick in the conventional sense at all.
Yet in many ways, that reaction mirrors how patients with so-called “chronic Lyme disease” have been treated for decades; with their symptoms ignored or dismissed by health officials despite mounting evidence suggesting ongoing bacterial infection.
In any event, the possible connection between Lyme disease and PANDAS is another reason why it’s important to protect your whole family – and especially your children and teenagers – from Lyme disease and the tick bites that transmit it.
A good first step is to establish a “tick safe” zone on your property; which is where statistics suggest the majority of tick bites occur. A tick control professional, like the experts from Aspenn Environmental Services, will be able to help you with this.
Using a yard spray for ticks, they can get rid of ticks from your property – and keep them gone with follow up tick spray treatments designed to eliminate ticks at every stage of their life cycle.
With the true impact of Lyme disease still barely understood, the importance of protecting vulnerable family members has never been more apparent. Make the right first step by contacting Aspenn Environmental Services today.