Related topics: china · endangered species

Pandas gave bamboo the thumbs up at least six million years ago

When is a thumb not a thumb? When it's an elongated wrist bone of the giant panda used to grasp bamboo. Through its long evolutionary history, the panda's hand has never developed a truly opposable thumb and instead evolved ...

Red pandas face a fractured future

The much-loved red panda is renowned for its tree-climbing ability and adorable nature, but new research shows the endangered mammal is being driven closer to extinction.

What guppy guts can teach us about evolution

On the list of scientific tools that help us understand health, evolution or the environment, the Trinidadian guppy doesn't often come to mind.

Newly described species have higher extinction risk

Newly discovered species are at a higher risk of extinction than those first described long ago, according to a new study involving researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

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PANDAS

PANDAS is an abbreviation for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. This diagnosis is used to describe a set of children who have a rapid onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders such as Tourette syndrome (TS), following group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) infections such as "strep throat" and scarlet fever. The proposed link between infection and these disorders is an autoimmune reaction, where antibodies produced by the infection interfere with neuronal cells.

This diagnosis is controversial and its usefulness is disputed by some scientists who think this sub-set of patients do not differ significantly from the remainder of the patient population, and that infections do not increase the risk of OCD or tics. Consequently, the PANDAS model is a complex and rapidly-moving area of medical research, with a 2009 review stating that the link between streptococcal infections and tic disorders has remained unclear, despite a great deal of work in the area. PANDAS is currently not listed as a diagnosis by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

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