Autoimmune Disorders: Is Your Child At Risk of PANS or PANDAS?
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Autoimmune Disorders: Is Your Child At Risk of PANS or PANDAS?



The following content is sponsored by The Pace Foundation.


Autoimmune Disorders: Is Your Child At Risk of PANS or PANDAS?

Every year, millions of young children and adolescents get sick with the flu, or some sort of viral or bacterial infection.

For a small number of children, these infections trigger an autoimmune response that causes acute behavior changes. This response is called Children’s Postinfectious Autoimmune Encephalopathy (CPAE), and its symptoms appear similar to OCD or severe anxiety.

How can you tell if your child is suffering from a CPAE? This graphic, presented by the PACE Foundation, outlines the two types of CPAEs—PANS and PANDAS—and explains what symptoms to look for, and where to seek help if needed.

What is CPAE?

CPAE is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to accidentally attack healthy cells. In the case of CPAE, this reaction is triggered by an infection.

The area of the body that’s affected by CPAE is the brain. Specifically, it attacks the basal ganglia, which is the same region of the brain that’s been linked to OCD and Tourette’s syndrome.

To date, there are two types of CPAEs:

  • PANS (Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome): A sudden onset of OCD-like symptoms, thought to be triggered by infections or inflammatory reactions.
  • PANDAS (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus): A subset of PANs, characterized by an acute onset of OCD or tics. It’s caused by a streptococcal infection like strep throat.

Some key symptoms to look out for include:

  • Regressive bedwetting
  • Emotionally erratic behavior
  • Depression or severely oppositional behavior
  • Separation anxiety
  • Trouble eating
  • Tics

It’s important to note that, when a child has PANS or PANDAS, their symptoms develop rapidly, or seem to come out of nowhere.

How to Treat PANS or PANDAS

If you think your child may have PANDAS or PANS, contact your child’s doctor right away.

While PANS or PANDAS could come back if your child gets a viral or bacterial infection again, there are a number of treatments that can help children manage their condition, so they can live healthy, nearly-symptom-free lives.

Antibiotics may be enough for some patients, while others might need a mixture of antibiotics, steroids, and/or psychiatric treatments.

There are several CPAE/PANS clinics throughout the U.S., founded by the PACE Foundation, which has helped facilitate a national standard of care for CPAE treatment throughout America.

Pace Treatment Centers Across the U.S.

The Pace Foundation has established partnerships with major universities and institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Arizona Center of Excellence, to treat children with CPAE.

Treatment CenterStateClinic Type
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPartner clinic
University of California CaliforniaSponsored clinic
University of Arizona Center of ExcellenceArizonaSponsored clinic
Banner Children's at Desert (Affiliated with University of Arizona)ArizonaSponsored clinic
University of Arkansas Center of ExcellenceArkansas Sponsored clinic
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsPartner clinic
Dartmouth UniversityNew HampshireSponsored clinic
University of WisconsinWisconsinSponsored clinic
Greater Regional Health CenterIowaPartner clinic

While there’s still more to learn about these autoimmune disorders, there is hope for children diagnosed with PANS or PANDAS. For additional resources on diagnosis and treatment of CPAEs, visit the Pace Foundation’s website.

PACE Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to helping kids with CPAE and supporting their families through education, advocacy, and research.

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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.



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)
OGE Energy21.518.2
AES Corporation19.849.9
Southern Company18.077.8
Alliant Energy14.414.1
DTE Energy14.229.0
Berkshire Hathaway Energy14.057.2
WEC Energy13.522.2
Duke Energy12.096.6
Xcel Energy11.943.3
Dominion Energy11.037.8
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
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 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 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

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 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 serve millions of Americans.

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.



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%
Excavators and Haulers16%
Crushing Plant 10%
Galvanized Steel 6%
Reinforced Steel6%
Plastic Piping 2%

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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