The Oregon teenager accused of plotting an attack on his high school has obsessive-compulsive disorder brought on in a rare way: a strep infection. That's according to his mother.
PANDAS is a condition that's triggered by strep infections in children. Researchers aren't sure why the infections could cause the extreme obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The symptoms can last for weeks, then disappear and come back months later without warning.
The medical community isn't entirely in agreement over whether PANDAS is a distinct condition. But Jenne Henderson, a child psychologist in Portland, says in her experience, it's a legitimate diagnosis.
"They have very extreme behaviors. And almost overnight," Henderson says. "So it's almost the behavior is so much more intense than a typical OCD case than I might see."
It's not clear yet whether Grant Acord's medical history will play a role in his defense. The 17-year-old faces charges of aggravated attempted murder, and manufacture and possession of destructive devices. Police say they found a half-dozen homemade bombs at his Albany house.
On the Web:
PANDAS FAQ - National Institute of Mental Health