CHESAPEAKE, Va. – The 12-year-old Virginia girl who sneezes up to 12,000 times a day has an official diagnosis, WAVY-TV reported.
Lauren Johnson, who started sneezing constantly throughout the day after suffering a bad cold in November, was diagnosed with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus, which is also known as PANDAS.
Up until now, doctors referred to Lauren's condition as "machine gun sneezing," as the girl couldn't go more than a few seconds without sneezing. Her only relief comes while she sleeps.
"Now we can actually treat it as something," said Lauren, who has been unable to attend school because of her sneezing fits, but is now starting to feel better after her doctor started her on a course of antibiotics.
Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a child neurologist who is treating Lauren, said PANDAS occurs following a streptococcal infection - the most common form being strep throat.
Symptoms of PANDAS include, but are not limited to:
— cognitive inflexibility;
— obsessive or compulsive argumentative behaviors;
— Tourettes syndrome;
— attention deficit disorder.
"Lauren is at risk of getting this again, so we're probably going to place her on some sort of . . .low-dose antibiotics for a long period of time," Trifilleti said.