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Throat infection left schoolboy holding knife to throat and acting ‘possessed’

A psychiatrist has revealed how a simple throat infection left her 10-year-old son like a child “possessed” – laughing maniacally, holding a knife to his throat and with bizarre phobias, including a terror of stepping on seagull droppings. Usually a sociable, loving boy, Jack Maclaine’s personality changed overnight, terrifying his mum, Alison, 44, and full-time dad, Neil, 64, with distressing outbursts, declaring on one occasion: “When we get home I’m going to take my clothes off and sit outside until I freeze to death.” Eventually, after four months, Jack, of Dumfries, Scotland, was diagnosed with PANDAS, a set of conditions which result in inflammation of the brain, causing a variety of neuro-psychiatric complaints, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), tics and eating disorders.

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