PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day Date in the current year: October 9, 2024

PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day, also known as World PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day, is observed annually on October 9. It was created to raise awareness of the pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS).

PANDAS and PANS typically occur after an infection and are characterized by a sudden onset of severe OCD symptoms (obsessions, compulsions, or both). Kids with PANDAS and PANS may also have other symptoms such as vocal or motor tics, mood swings, anxiety, trouble with fine motor skills, memory problems, trouble with reading or math, and others.

PANDAS and PANS are speculated to be autoimmune conditions caused by the body’s immune response to an infection. They develop when the body’s own antibodies to infection attack the basal ganglia in the brain by mistake. The basal ganglia control a variety of functions, including learning, cognition, emotion, and voluntary movements, so their irritation causes the symptoms. PANDAS is caused by strep infection, while PANS is linked to other infections such as chickenpox, flu, and Lyme disease.

PANDAS was first described in 1998 and is not mentioned in the DSM-5; it is mentioned in the ICD-11, but without a specific code or diagnostic criteria. Due to a lack of diagnostic criteria and the overlap of symptoms with many other psychiatric conditions, PANS and PANDAS may be under- or overdiagnosed PANS/PANDAS treatment usually involves medicines to treat the underlying infection and therapy to address OCD and other neuropsychiatric symptoms.

The history of PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day dates back to 2008, when a 12-year-old boy named Stefanos Mitsogiorgakis experienced a sudden onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms after a streptococcal infection and was diagnosed with PANDAS. Despite treatment and care, Stefanos would have continued relapses.

In 2013, Stefanos’s mother Christine reached out to Nicole Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly, and asked her to support the designation of October 9 as an awareness day for PANS/PANDAS. Milliotakis agreed to help and submitted a request for the New York Congress to approve the proclamation of a new awareness day. Her request was voted on and approved by the then-governor of New York Andrew Cuomo.

Since its inception, PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day has become an international observance. The campaign is spearheaded by PANDAS Network, the leading American nonprofit organization for PANS/PANDAS that was founded by a group of parents and healthcare professionals in 2009.

There are many ways to get involved and support the cause. You can learn more about PANS/PANDAS and share the facts you’ve learned with others, donate to an organization that supports families affected by the condition or funds research, and spread the word on social media with the hashtag #PANSPANDASAwarenessDay. If you have your own experiences with the syndrome, share it to show families affected by it that they are not alone in their struggle.

Remind me with Google Calendar


International Observances


PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day, World PANS/PANDAS Awareness Day, international observances, awareness days