2017 Assembly Joint Resolution 74
Relating to: proclaiming October 9, 2017, as PANDAS and 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 Wisconsin such as PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) 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 tics, anxiety, depression, behavioral regression, deterioration in school performance, sensory sensitivities, severely restricted food intake, and more; and
Whereas, researchers have begun to substantiate that this syndrome involves a misdirected autoimmune process that affects 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, habit, executive “logic-based" thinking, emotions, and the endocrine system; and
Whereas, a conservative estimate of prevalence is 162,000 in the United States and 7,000 in Wisconsin alone; PANDAS/PANS is likely as common as pediatric cancer and pediatric diabetes and can seriously affect the healthy outcome of a child's life; and
Whereas, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that up to 30 percent of children being treated for mental health disorders could be restored to health by proper diagnosis and treatment of PANS and PANDAS; and
Whereas, PANDAS/PANS is often misdiagnosed and undertreated. Treatment varies by the needs of the child, but may include antibiotics, steroids, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), plasmapheresis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications; and
Whereas, PANDASNetwork.org is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANDAS/PANS. PANDAS Network is also a conduit for researchers to navigate collaborations and for the medical community to find information; and
Whereas, it is imperative that there be greater public awareness of this health issue, and more must be done to increase activity at the local, state, and national levels; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the legislature proclaims October 9, 2017, as PANDAS and PANS Awareness Day; and, be it further
Resolved, That the assembly chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to Scott and Erica Guetzlaff of Oregon, WI who are working to raise awareness of PANS and PANDAS on behalf of their daughter; and, be it further
Resolved, That the assembly chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to PANDASNetwork.org.