2021 Jenike Young Investigator Award

Correlates of treatment outcome using multimodal neuroimaging in children with PANDAS

Sarah O’Dor, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA)

Award Amount: $50,000

Researchers are increasingly interested in the connection between inflammation in the brain and OCD symptoms in both Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS) and more typical childhood-onset OCD. Previous research has found that naproxen sodium (brand name “Aleve”) can treat inflammation in the brain, and has helped alleviate OCD symptoms in children with PANDAS.

Dr. O’Dor and her team are investigating how naproxen sodium changes the brains of these children by using cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to measure inflammation. The project’s findings will provide additional data regarding the role of inflammation in childhood OCD, and may unlock new avenues for treatment.