Families and friends gather to celebrate the opening of new Univ. of Arizona pediatric center to focus on autoimmune disorders. Photo - Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star

New pediatric center in Arizona targets autoimmune disorders

Dr. Charles Cairns, Dean of the Univ. of Arizona College of Medicine speaks at opening. Photo - Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star
Dr. Charles Cairns, Dean of the Univ. of Arizona College of Medicine speaks at opening. Photo – Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star

The following was reported by Stephanie Innes at the Arizona Daily Star.

The opening of the new Children’s Postinfectious Autoimmune Encephalopathy Center in Tucson marks a new era of pediatric research for the University of Arizona, UA president Ann Weaver Hart said Tuesday during an opening event held at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.

The disorders hit children suddenly and with frightening symptoms — hallucinations, tics, aggression, severe anxiety and restrictive eating. It is, many parents of sufferers say, like someone has turned off a light switch in their child.

To make matters worse, doctors don’t always recognize the problem is not a result of mental illness. Rather, it is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the brain following an infection like strep. Click here to read the full article

Please contact reporter Stephanie Innes with questions at [email protected]