Oct. 9 event to raise awareness of PANDAS

An event designed to raise awareness of PANDAS will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at the Market Place Banquet and Conference Center, 16722 198th Ave., Big Lake.

PANDAS is Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections.

Guest speakers will be author Elizabeth Ann Eberhardt and Dr. Nathan Horek.

Kirsten Tuckey of Elk River, Minnesota PANDAS Support Group Leader, will offer opening remarks.

There also will be a question and answer session. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuckey, who has a son with PANDAS, said schools take a proactive approach in protecting students from spreading germs through regular hand washing, the use of antibacterial products and sending children home when they are ill.

“When a child still manages to get sick, in regular circumstances it may mean that they are home for a few days, until they are well,” she said. “When our child, a child with PANDAS, gets sick (specifically with strep throat) it usually leads to months of battling the strep along with the immediate onset of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), sleep disturbance, extreme separation anxiety, motor or vocal tics and many additional symptoms.”