Dr. Swedo is Head of the Section on Behavioral Pediatrics at the NIMH, where she conducts research on childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Swedo and her NIMH team were the first to identify a new subtype of pediatric OCD, in which symptoms are triggered by cross-reactive antibodies produced in response to infections with Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci. The subgroup is known by the acronym, PANDAS, which stands for: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. This work led to the development of several novel therapies, including use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasmapheresis to treat acutely ill children, and antibiotics prophylaxis to prevent strep-triggered neuropsychiatric exacerbations.
Dr. Margo Thienemann is a child psychiatrist from Stanford University in California and a world leader in PANS diagnosis and treatment. She is a clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science at Stanford and is the co-director of the Packard Children’s PANS clinic. This clinic was started in 2012 and was the first multidisciplinary PANS clinic in the USA with a goal of ground-breaking research and excellent patient care. Dr. Thienemann has worked with doctors across the USA as part of a consortium devoted to developing diagnostic and treatment guidelines for PANS. She was the lead author for the psychiatric portion of those published guidelines and has also shared her expertise with pandasppn.org (an online physicians network). Recently, she and the Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education(CME) have launched a free CME online course Presentation and Management of Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) https://med.stanford.edu/cme/courses/online/pans.html
Dr. Pasternack, MD, is the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Mass General Hospital for Children. Dr. Pasternack trained at Harvard and then completed his residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Pasternack is part of the consortium of doctors working on diagnostic and treatment guidelines for PANS and was one of the key contributors to part III of the guidelines “Treatment and Prevention of Infections”.