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CE Announcement - Inflammatory Brain Disorders: A Focus on PANS
Lido Wellness Center
3434 Via Lido
Newport Beach, California 92663
Saturday, February 24, 2024, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Category: Continuing Education

CE Announcement - Inflammatory Brain Disorders: A Focus on PANS 

OCPA Workshop

Zoe Gillispie, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

9:00-12:00 pm

Lido Wellness Center

3434 Via Lido, Suite 200

Newport Beach, CA 92663

Parking available in structure or street, no validation.

There is mounting evidence that children, adolescents, and adults who present with sudden, severe psychiatric symptoms may be suffering from an inflammatory brain disorder. It is crucial for mental health clinicians to be aware of how inflammatory brain disorders or neuroimmune conditions can masquerade as behavioral problems and contribute to the development of psychiatric symptoms, especially in our youngest patients. Without this awareness and education, therapists end up treating these patients purely through a behavioral lens, delaying crucial medical care, with reduced or even deleterious treatment outcomes for some individuals.

Neuroimmune and inflammatory brain disorders that first emerge in childhood or adolescence often fit under the umbrella of Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome or PANS. PANS is a syndrome that is estimated to occur in something like 1 out of 200 youth. It can present with a variety of symptoms such as OCD, food restriction, ADHD, oppositional behavior, Tourette’s Syndrome, severe mood dysregulation, cognitive and developmental regression, and psychosis.

When children, adolescents, and adults with inflammatory brain disorders are given timely access to appropriate, coordinated medical, psychiatric, and psychological care, we can dramatically improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for these patients and their families. This CE workshop will cover an overview of different inflammatory brain disorders, with a focus on PANS and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with Strep). Clinicians will learn about the science and the medical treatments that have been found to be effective for these conditions. Clinicians will also learn to identify possible cases and coordinate with medical specialists, as well as how to implement and time appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions around medical treatments. Finally, clinicians will gain access to resources for patients and families to get appropriate care and support.

Learning Objectives

This workshop will help you:
1. Identify or list three neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with inflammatory brain disorders such as PANS.
2. Describe at least one appropriate psychotherapy intervention that can be used to support the patient/family during an acute flare of PANS when symptoms are severe. 
3. Explain one or two appropriate psychotherapy interventions that can be implemented during periods of milder symptoms or remission of PANS.

 3-hour CE Timeline:

15 minutes - Brief Overview & Definition of Inflammatory Brain Disorders for non-medical providers.
1. Provide the medical context for a deeper understanding of how the immune system can affect the brain and lead to neurological, neurobehavioral, and psychiatric changes.
2. Definition of autoimmune & autoinflammatory diseases that affect the brain, as well as infectious triggers for inflammatory brain disorders.
3. Infections and/or the microbiome “turn on” genes that lead to these disorders, and that the blood brain barrier becomes comprised, allowing the immune system into the brain.

20 minutes - Overview of PANS & PANDAS
1. A syndrome incorporating many different inflammatory brain disorders that first emerge in the pediatric population.

45 minutes - How to Recognize, Refer and Diagnose Inflammatory Brain Disorders
1. Symptoms & Clinical Presentation
2. How therapists can help identify and assist with the diagnosis and coordinate care for PANS/PANDAS youth and adults.
3. Case Examples of mild, moderate, severe, and extreme cases.

20 minutes - Medical Treatments for PANS/PANDAS
1. Define the severity & refer to the right medical specialists.

60 minutes - Coordinating Psychiatric, Psychotherapeutic, and School-Based Services with Medical Treatments.
1. How do individuals with PANS/PANDAS respond to psychiatric meds?
2. We have minimal research (so far) on psychotherapeutic interventions: Review of literature.
3. PANS/PANDAS is an active brain injury, mental health & family systems crisis: apply TBI treatment models, trauma informed care, and Safety Planning to symptomatic PANS/PANDAS cases.
4. Treatments for when the patient is medically stable: CBT, DBT, ERP, Positive Behavioral support, parent training, and EMDR or other trauma informed therapies may be helpful, depending on the case.
5. Community Resources for clients & clinicians.

20 minutes - Questions, Answers & Case Discussions

Dr. Gillispie is a licensed clinical psychologist in Redwood City, Ca. A graduate of Palo Alto University, she has worked in a diverse array of clinical settings throughout Northern California since 2002. Her clinical training and background includes experience in medical inpatient cognitive rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury patients, outpatient primary care, a chronic pain intensive outpatient treatment program, and child, family, and adult psychiatry clinics. She has also worked as a therapist and case manager for a variety of community mental health agencies serving children and families. As a graduate student, she worked in school-based settings, conducted research on dementia caregivers at Stanford University, and completed a yearlong training in neuropsychological assessment at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

Dr Gillispie has always been interested in the intersection of medicine and psychiatry. After completing her residency in child/adolescent and adult psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente, where she saw her first PANS/PANDAS case in 2006, she was hired by Kaiser Chronic Pain and Medicine Departments to provide assessment and consultation for medical providers, as well as implement individual and group therapy for individuals suffering from chronic pain syndromes. After 13 years at Kaiser, Dr Gillispie transitioned to private practice where she specializes in providing individual and group psychotherapy. Dr Gillispie is a DBT-trained therapist and runs DBT groups for teens, young adults, and social skills groups for young adults with ASD.

$65 - CPA Members
$65 - OCPA Members
$75 - Non-Members
$25 - Students

“CPA is co-sponsoring with Orange County Psychological Association. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.”

Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 3 continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we give credit only to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.

For more information, please contact: Rosalyn Laudati, Ph.D. [email protected]


Register Here 

Contact: Rosalyn Laudati, Ph.D. [email protected]