Objective: To determine the rates of psychiatric disorders in the first-degree relatives of children with infection-triggered obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tics (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections; PANDAS).
Method: The probands of this study were 54 children with PANDAS (n = 24 with a primary diagnosis of OCD; n = 30 with a primary diagnosis of a tic disorder). One hundred fifty-seven first-degree relatives (100 parents [93%] and 57 siblings [100%]) were evaluated for the presence of a tic disorder. One hundred thirty-nine first-degree relatives (100 parents [93%] and 39 of 41 siblings over the age of 6 [95%]) were evaluated with clinical and structured psychiatric interviews to determine the presence of subclinical OCD, OCD, and other DSM-IV Axis I disorders.
Results: Twenty-one probands (39%) had at least one first-degree relative with a history of a motor or vocal tic; 6 mothers (11%), 9 fathers (19%), and 8 siblings (16%) received this diagnosis. Fourteen probands (26%) had at least one first-degree relative with OCD; 10 mothers (19%), 5 fathers (11%), and 2 siblings (5%), received this diagnosis. An additional 8 parents (8%) and 3 siblings (8%) met criteria for subclinical OCD. Eleven parents (11%) had obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Conclusions: The rates of tic disorders and OCD in first-degree relatives of pediatric probands with PANDAS are higher than those reported in the general population and are similar to those reported previously for tic disorders and OCD. Further study is warranted to determine the nature of the relationship between genetic and environmental factors in PANDAS.