October 9, 2014: PANDA/PANS Awareness Day

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize official days to increase awareness of serious illnesses that affect the lives of citizens of Michigan such as PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infection) and PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome); and

WHEREAS, A diagnosis of PANDAS or PANS means a child has a sudden, dramatic change in personality displayed as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) together with accompanying symptoms following a strep, bacterial or viral infection. The OCD can display as intense fear or anxiety. Accompanying symptoms may include motor and vocal tics, depression, behavioral regression, deterioration in school performance, sensory sensitivities, developmental and age regression; sleep difficulties, severely restricted food intake and more; and,

WHEREAS, Researchers have begun to substantiate that these syndrome involves a misdirected autoimmune process that effects or weakens the Blood/Brain Barrier. The inflammatory process irritates a region of the brain that manages a variety of functions such as movement, cognitive perception, have, executive “logic based” thinking, emotions and the endocrine system; and,

WHEREAS, A conservative estimate of prevalence is 162,000 in the US alone. PANDAS/PANS is likely as common as Pediatric Cancer and Pediatric Diabetes, and can seriously effect the healthy outcome of a child’s life; and,

WHEREAS, PANDAS/PANS is often misdiagnosed and undertreated due to the lack of awareness both by the public and even the medical community. Treatment varies by the needs of the child, but may include antibiotics, steroids, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), plasmapheresis, anti-inflammatory medications and Cognitive Behavioral therapy; and,

WHEREAS, PANDAS Network.org, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2009, is dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANDAS/PANS. PANDAS Network is also a conduit for researchers to navigate collaborations, and the medical community to find information that is medically accurate and reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Board. PANDAS Network is a trusted and respected organization with such affiliations as being a NIMH National Partner, a NORD Patient Organization, and recognized by AARDA; and,

WHEREAS, Great Lakes PANDAS/PANS Advocacy and Awareness is a grass roots movement begun in Michigan by parents of children diagnosed with PANDAS/PANS. This dedicated group of parents is passionate about communicating, educating and advocating on behalf of afflicted children within the state of Michigan. An awareness day has already been designated in several states as October 9th, which contributes to the spread of awareness, acceptance and support of PANDAS/PANS; and,

WHEREAS, It is imperative that there be greater public awareness of this serious children's health issue, and more must be done to increase activity at the local, State and national levels.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2014 as Michigan PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day in Michigan.