What is PANS/PANDAS and Why Should You Care?
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What is PANS/PANDAS and Why Should You Care?

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The following content is sponsored by the Pace Foundation


PANS/PANDAS Infographic

The PACE Foundation

What is PANS/PANDAS and Why Should You Care?

Picture this—one moment, you have a healthy, carefree child. Then, overnight, your child becomes a different person. Now they’re moody, anxious, aggressive, compulsively obsessing over trivial things, or restricting their eating.

If this sounds familiar, your child may have Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Disease (PANDAS).

This graphic, sponsored by the PACE Foundation, shares six important facts you should know about PANS/PANDAS, and illustrates how your individual or corporate donations could help cure these autoimmune disorders.

PANS/PANDAS: An Overview

PANS and PANDAS are types of Children’s Postinfectious Autoimmune Encephalopathy (CPAE), which is when your immune system stops functioning properly and starts attacking healthy cells in your body.

These particular autoimmune disorders are triggered by an infection such as strep throat or other streptococcal infections. Below, we’ll dive into six important things to know if you think your child is suffering from either of these autoimmune disorders.

FACT #1

PANS/PANDAS is a pediatric disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), PANS/PANDAS is considered a pediatric disorder because it’s most commonly found in children from age three to puberty.

While occurrences in teenagers and adults are possible, they’re extremely rare based on current research. Children that develop PANS/PANDAS are believed to be genetically susceptible to it.

FACT #2

PANS/PANDAS is a clinical diagnosis

PANS/PANDAs cannot be detected in a lab or with a blood test.

Rather, these disorders are detected through a clinical diagnosis, which means they’re identified by observing the symptoms of a patient, combined with their medical history.

The most common signs of PANS/PANDAS are a sudden onset of OCD, severe separation anxiety, vocal or motor tics, or restricted eating.

FACT #3

PANS/PANDAS is often misdiagnosed

It can be difficult to diagnose PANS/PANDAS since symptoms are similar to other disorders, like ADHD or bipolar.

A key characteristic of PANS/PANDAS that differentiates it from ADHD or bipolar disorder is its sudden onset, meaning symptoms appear rapidly, or seem to come out of nowhere.

FACT #4

PANS/PANDAS is caused by an infectious trigger

PANS/PANDAS is believed to be triggered by a misdirected autoimmune response to a variety of infectious diseases.

PANDAS is linked to streptococcal infections like strep throat, while PANS is thought to be triggered by a range of infections or inflammatory reactions.

Treatment for these autoimmune disorders varies, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some patients take antibiotics, while others need a mix of antibiotics and psychiatric treatments.

FACT #5

Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to improved outcomes

Catching and treating PANS/PANDAS early could make a world of difference to your child’s mental health.

According to Dr. Sue Swedo, former Chief of Development Pediatrics at SNIMH, some preliminary studies indicate that early treatment and proper use of antibiotic prophylaxis may prevent 25-30% of childhood mental illnesses.

FACT #6

The Pace Foundation is helping treat and cure these diseases

The PACE Foundation in collaboration with major medical universities and health institutions in the U.S. has facilitated and promoted special PANS/PANDAS clinics and world-class research to treat patients with these disorders and help eventually cure these very serious diseases.

Working Towards a Cure

The PACE Foundation has made significant contributions to increase awareness, explore treatment options, and invest in research into these autoimmune disorders. Some key moments for the organization over the last decade include:

  • 2014-2015: The start of a collaboration between PACE and the NIH/NMIH, the University of Arizona, and Stanford University to develop multi-discipline clinics to treat PANS/PANDAS.
  • 2016: The establishment of the first CPAE Center of Excellence & Treatment Clinics, which opened to patients from around the world.
  • 2019-2022: Partnered with pharmaceutical corporation (Octapharma) to launch the first ever global pediatric IVIG study for PANS/PANDAS.
  • 2022 and Beyond: Beyond the millions of dollars raised to date, for treatment, research and awareness, by collaborating with government academia, foundations and private sector organizations in a national effort to cure PANS/PANDAS.

While the PACE Foundation has made remarkable progress in a short amount of time, financial assistance is needed in order for the non-profit to achieve its research goals, and ultimately cure PANS/PANDAS.

>>>Click here to donate.

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Ranked: Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities

Roughly 25% of all GHG emissions come from electricity production. See how the top 30 IOUs rank by emissions per capita.

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Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities

Approximately 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) come from electricity generation.

Subsequently, this means investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will have a crucial role to play around carbon reduction initiatives. This is particularly true for the top 30 IOUs, where almost 75% of utility customers get their electricity from.

This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council ranks the largest IOUs by emissions per capita. By accounting for the varying customer bases they serve, we get a more accurate look at their green energy practices. Here’s how they line up.

Per Capita Rankings

The emissions per capita rankings for the top 30 investor-owned utilities have large disparities from one another.

Totals range from a high of 25.8 tons of CO2 per customer annually to a low of 0.5 tons.

UtilityEmissions Per Capita (CO2 tons per year)Total Emissions (M)
TransAlta25.816.3
Vistra22.497.0
OGE Energy21.518.2
AES Corporation19.849.9
Southern Company18.077.8
Evergy14.623.6
Alliant Energy14.414.1
DTE Energy14.229.0
Berkshire Hathaway Energy14.057.2
Entergy13.840.5
WEC Energy13.522.2
Ameren12.831.6
Duke Energy12.096.6
Xcel Energy11.943.3
Dominion Energy11.037.8
Emera11.016.6
PNM Resources10.55.6
PPL Corporation10.428.7
American Electric Power9.250.9
Consumers Energy8.716.1
NRG Energy8.229.8
Florida Power and Light8.041.0
Portland General Electric7.66.9
Fortis Inc.6.112.6
Avangrid5.111.6
PSEG3.99.0
Exelon3.834.0
Consolidated Edison1.66.3
Pacific Gas and Electric0.52.6
Next Era Energy Resources01.1

PNM Resources data is from 2019, all other data is as of 2020

Let’s start by looking at the higher scoring IOUs.

TransAlta

TransAlta emits 25.8 tons of CO2 emissions per customer, the largest of any utility on a per capita basis. Altogether, the company’s 630,000 customers emit 16.3 million metric tons. On a recent earnings call, its management discussed clear intent to phase out coal and grow their renewables mix by doubling their renewables fleet. And so far it appears they’ve been making good on their promise, having shut down the Canadian Highvale coal mine recently.

Vistra

Vistra had the highest total emissions at 97 million tons of CO2 per year and is almost exclusively a coal and gas generator. However, the company announced plans for 60% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050. As the highest total emitter, this transition would make a noticeable impact on total utility emissions if successful.

Currently, based on their 4.3 million customers, Vistra sees per capita emissions of 22.4 tons a year. The utility is a key electricity provider for Texas, ad here’s how their electricity mix compares to that of the state as a whole:

Energy SourceVistraState of Texas
Gas63%52%
Coal29%15%
Nuclear6%9%
Renewables1%24%
Oil1%0%

Despite their ambitious green energy pledges, for now only 1% of Vistra’s electricity comes from renewables compared to 24% for Texas, where wind energy is prospering.

Based on those scores, the average customer from some of the highest emitting utility groups emit about the same as a customer from each of the bottom seven, who clearly have greener energy practices. Let’s take a closer look at emissions for some of the bottom scoring entities.

Utilities With The Greenest Energy Practices

Groups with the lowest carbon emission scores are in many ways leaders on the path towards a greener future.

Exelon

Exelon emits only 3.8 tons of CO2 emissions per capita annually and is one of the top clean power generators across the Americas. In the last decade they’ve reduced their GHG emissions by 18 million metric tons, and have recently teamed up with the state of Illinois through the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Through this, Exelon will receive $700 million in subsidies as it phases out coal and gas plants to meet 2030 and 2045 targets.

Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison serves nearly 4 million customers with a large chunk coming from New York state. Altogether, they emit 1.6 tons of CO2 emissions per capita from their electricity generation.

The utility group is making notable strides towards a sustainable future by expanding its renewable projects and testing higher capacity limits. In addition, they are often praised for their financial management and carry the title of dividend aristocrat, having increased their dividend for 47 years and counting. In fact, this is the longest out of any utility company in the S&P 500.

A Sustainable Tomorrow

Altogether, utilities will have a pivotal role to play in decarbonization efforts. This is particularly true for the top 30 U.S. IOUs, who collectively serve 60 million Americans, or one-fifth of the U.S. population.

Ultimately, this means a unique moment for utilities is emerging. As the transition toward cleaner energy continues and various groups push to achieve their goals, all eyes will be on utilities to deliver.

The National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource to learn how utilities can lead in the path towards decarbonization.

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The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills.

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Road to Decarbonization - How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

Asphalt, also known as bitumen, has various applications in the modern economy, with annual demand reaching 110 million tons globally.

Until the 20th century, natural asphalt made from decomposed plants accounted for the majority of asphalt production. Today, most asphalt is refined from crude oil.

This graphic, sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies, shows how new technologies to reuse and recycle asphalt can help protect the environment.

The Impact of Climate Change

Pollution from vehicles is expected to decline as electric vehicles replace internal combustion engines.

But pollution from asphalt could actually increase in the next decades because of rising temperatures in some parts of the Earth. When subjected to extreme temperatures, asphalt releases harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.

Emissions from Road Construction (Source) CO2 equivalent (%)
Asphalt 28%
Concrete18%
Excavators and Haulers16%
Trucks13%
Crushing Plant 10%
Galvanized Steel 6%
Reinforced Steel6%
Plastic Piping 2%
Geotextile1%

Asphalt paved surfaces and roofs make up approximately 45% and 20% of surfaces in U.S. cities, respectively. Furthermore, 75% of single-family detached homes in Canada and the U.S. have asphalt shingles on their roofs.

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Asphalt

Similar to roads, asphalt shingles have oil as the primary component, which is especially harmful to the environment.

Shingles do not decompose or biodegrade. The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills, the equivalent of 20 million barrels of oil.

But most of it can be reused, rather than taking up valuable landfill space.

Using technology, the primary components in shingles can be repurposed into liquid asphalt, aggregate, and fiber, for use in road construction, embankments, and new shingles.

Providing the construction industry with clean, sustainable processing solutions is also a big business opportunity. Canada alone is a $1.3 billion market for recovering and reprocessing shingles.

Northstar Clean Technologies is the only public company that repurposes 99% of asphalt shingles components that otherwise go to landfills.

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