Teen In Alleged Albany Bomb Plot Could Have Rare Mental Condition

May 29, 2013

The Oregon teenager accused of plotting an attack on his high school has obsessive-compulsive disorder brought on in a rare way: a strep infection. That's according to his mother. 

Grant Acord's mother posted this statement explaining her son's medical condition on the front door of her Albany home.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

PANDAS has nothing to do with the bear. It's a condition that's triggered by strep infections in children. Researchers aren't sure why the infections could cause the extreme obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The symptoms can last for weeks, then disappear and come back months later without warning. The medical community isn't entirely in agreement over whether PANDAS is a distinct condition. Jenne Henderson is a child psychologist in Portland. She says in her experience, it's a legitimate diagnosis.

"They have very extreme behaviors. And almost overnight. So it's almost the behavior is so much more intense than a typical OCD case than I might see" says Henderson.

It's not clear yet whether Grant Acord's medical history will play a role in his defense. The seventeen-year-old faces charges of aggravated attempted murder, and manufacture and possession of destructive devices. Police say they found a half-dozen homemade bombs at his Albany house.

On the web:

PANDAS: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/pandas/pandas-frequently-asked-questions-about-pediatric-autoimmune-neuropsychiatric-disorders-associated-with-streptococcal-infections.shtml

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