Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) is a clinical diagnosis characterized by sudden onset of obsessive compulsive disorder and is considered a type of Autoimmune Encephalitis. Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with Streptococcal Infection (PANDAS) is a subset of PANS characterized by a similar presentation but specifically results from infection by Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential, as PANS can become a chronic condition. PANS and PANDAS are frequently misdiagnosed. There are a variety of differential diagnoses. The intent of this thesis is to evaluate differences in symptoms between PANDAS patients and those with a differential diagnosis and to synthesize existing knowledge to evaluate research areas that need improvement and reduce the rate of misdiagnosis. A review of clinical studies on the PubMed database was done using the key terms: "pediatric autoimmune encephalitis," "pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome," "pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection," and "clinical study." A literature review was done to examine research articles and case reports to compare symptom presentation between PANDAS Patients and Differential Diagnosis Patients. The results of this thesis show that clinical studies only make up 2.73% of the articles and references on PubMed, revealing a need for increased clinical research. 16 symptoms were compared between PANDAS patients and Differential Diagnosis Patients. A One-Way ANOVA test was done, and 12 symptoms were found to be significantly higher in the PANDAS Patients compared to the Differential Diagnosis Patients. Symptom overlap between PANDAS Patients and Differential Diagnosis Patients and the results of the One-Way ANOVA test were compiled into a PANS Diagnostic Form for clinician use.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Ambivero, Camilla


Mehta, Anuja


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date