Moleculera Labs, a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified clinical laboratory offering testing services for childhood autoimmune conditions, has received COLA lab accreditation along with the Laboratory Excellence Award for their commitment to quality patient testing and laboratory practices. The company recently received clinical licenses from California, Maryland, Florida and Rhode Island and is now authorized to receive specimens from 49 states, with a license application pending in New York.
The Oklahoma City-based CLIA laboratory is currently the only laboratory in the country offering a specialized testing panel to identify an autoimmune condition called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS). PANDAS and PANS (Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) are characterized by obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), motor tics and are sometimes associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
“More doctors are beginning to recognize and understand PANDAS/PANS as a potential underlying cause of neuropsychiatric manifestations in children. There are untold numbers of affected children who are often misdiagnosed due to the complexity of this condition. Many families have spent thousands of dollars on ineffective treatments and even hospitalizations,” said Dr. Craig Shimasaki, Moleculera Labs’ CEO. “Diagnosing PANDAS/PANS is often difficult based upon clinical symptoms alone without laboratory results helping to confirm an autoimmune dysfunction. The good news is that there are effective treatments and therapies readily available if a child is properly diagnosed with this condition.”
PANDAS/PANS begins with an infection that triggers auto-antibodies believed to attack neurologic receptors in the brain, which result in neuropsychiatric symptoms. Proper diagnosis allows a physician to treat the underlying cause rather than just treating the symptoms. Because treatments for PANDAS differ significantly from traditional neuropsychiatric treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorders and motor tics, Shimasaki said, “correctly identifying this disorder is essential to resolving a patient’s condition.”
A research team led by Moleculera Labs co-founder Dr. Madeleine Cunningham developed the testing panel in her lab at the University of Oklahoma.
“Moleculera Labs has been flooded with calls and requests for more information about testing. Our company’s purpose has been to aid physicians in their efforts to effectively diagnose this condition,” Shimasaki said. “Our overarching goal is to provide answers for these families, and to assist physicians in restoring these afflicted children back to health.”
Moleculera Labs provides clinical testing services for individuals believed to be suffering from PANDAS/PANS. The laboratory testing center was born from a research study in Dr. Madeleine Cunningham’s laboratory and the technology is exclusively licensed from the University of Oklahoma. The panel was made commercially available in April 2013, and Moleculera Labs is currently the only testing center performing this panel. Based in Oklahoma City, Moleculera Labs is licensed to accept physician’s orders for patient testing from 49 states. For more information, visit www.moleculera.com.