NBC NATIONAL NEWS — When Jason Dudinec suddenly started washing his hands and touching things ritually, his parents knew something wasn't right.
The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms came on suddenly and seemed to worsen.
A neurologist diagnosed Jason with a condition called PANDAS, short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections.
Jason's strep infection affected a part of his brain that "turned on" OCD and other behavioral issues.
His mother, Jennifer, says when her son received penicillin for a sinus infection shortly after, the symptoms subsided.
When he received a steroid boost for his asthma they stopped all together.
Now they only reappear when he's exposed to strep.
According to Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, PANDAS can cause behaviors such as:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The catch is the symptoms come on suddenly and must be associated with a strep infection.
It affects children between 3 and 10 years old and in some cases may fade once they reach adulthood.
Dr. Wiznitzer says PANDAS is extremely rare, and while most people have been exposed to strep, few have the biology to contract PANDAS.
He adds, that while the National Institutes of Mental Health recognize PANDAS, not all scientists agree that it's an actual condition.