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Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York) 

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:16 PM
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Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

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The mystery illness that hit 12 girls at LeRoy High School in upstate New York -- which was recently diagnosed by a local doctor as conversion disorder -- has now spread to more teens at the school. The New York State Health Department confirms to local NBC affiliate WGRZ that they have seen 15 cases of students exhibiting the same Tourettes-like symptoms, including one boy.

The 12 girls who were initially exhibiting strange Tourette's-like tics and uncontrollable verbal outbursts several months ago, as well as three more students, are thought to have a particular type of conversion disorder known as mass psychogenic illness, an ailment in which psychological stress is expressed physically. School officials told TODAY that environmental factors in the school building or surrounding areas are not to blame, and the cause of the outbreak remains uncertain.

To get a second opinion on their diagnosis, students may elect to travel to the National Institute of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland for further testing. The testing will be free of charge, and will involve a physical examination as well as possible clinical neurophysiological testing.

Conversion disorder is a main area of research at the NIH facility, and those who are eligible may participate in the ongoing research study there.
Quote:
Dr. David Lichter, a professor of neurology at the University of Buffalo who has seen one of the patients, says social media could be spreading the tics, in an instance of video gone viral.

"If you are a person who is vulnerable in some way, because of your own stresses or anxieties, I think there is a potential for that to create further spread beyond the area that was initially involved," Lichter told TODAY.
Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School Spreads To 15 Students

LeRoy Mystery Illness Symptoms May Be Spreading Through Social Media

Facebook, YouTube could be spreading 'mystery illness,' doctor says

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Old 02-08-2012, 03:37 PM
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Re: Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

So I may start to twitch like a junkie needing a fix and I may start having uncontrollable verbal outbursts if I O.D on the Internet well fuck me where do I sign up that's better than I normally am.

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Old 02-09-2012, 01:18 AM
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Re: Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

Well ^*&*%!!! I%*%*!!! Sorry i don't know where that came from!!!!

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Old 02-09-2012, 02:12 AM
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Re: Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

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Well ^*&*%!!! I%*%*!!! Sorry i don't know where that came from!!!!
Too much youtube desist now.

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:22 AM
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Re: Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

I call fakers. The more attention the first ones get, the more start to show the same symptoms. Only now it's not just for attention (and they get to skip school)... they smell money.

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:59 AM
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Re: Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

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I call fakers. The more attention the first ones get, the more start to show the same symptoms. Only now it's not just for attention (and they get to skip school)... they smell money.
Word

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:27 PM
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Re: Mystery Illness At LeRoy High School (New York)

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Most of the teens have been experiencing motor and verbal tics since October without an answer that is satisfying to all of the parents.

No one likes a medical mystery (unless it has already been solved) and the area seems to have a chemical history, including a company that made rat poison and a train derailment that led to a chemical spill 41 years ago.

Could chemicals that contaminated local well water have caused the mysterious symptoms? It sounds reasonable, but why wouldn't they have caused symptoms in people who actually drank the well water before carbon treatment units were installed in 1971 and again in 1991?

Interestingly, the drinking water for Le Roy comes from the Monroe County Water Authority, which tests for, but hasn't found any trichloroethene, the industrial solvent that contaminated groundwater in the area near the train accident.

The teens were diagnosed with conversion disorder - which is typically a diagnosis of exclusion, made after you have eliminated all of the other likely possibilities. Did the doctors at the private clinic, which seems mostly geared towards treating adult patients, meet the criteria for making a diagnosis of conversion disorder?

According to ABC News, doctors have ruled out:

•PANDAS - an abbreviation for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, a condition in which children develop worsening tics and OCD-like symptoms after strep infections
•Gardasil - many people were quick to jump on the HPV vaccine as the cause, as most the affected teens were girls, but it turns out that many of the girls did not receive the vaccine
•environmental toxins - although many people think the testing that was done was grossly inadequate
Routine tests likely also ruled out infections, drugs, and seizures, etc.

So is a diagnosis of conversion disorder or mass hysteria that far fetched? Most people will be surprised to learn that a group of 10 students at a small high school in North Carolina were diagnosed with mass hysteria (another name for conversion disorder) at the start of the 2002 school year. Twelve students, 11 girls and 1 boy, were originally evaluated after developing episodes that resembled seizures - which they were having for four months. It was determined that the boy was indeed having seizures and one of the girls was suffering from postural hypotension, which can lead to fainting. The other 10 girls were diagnosed with mass motor hysteria, which went away after the students were separated over Christmas break.


Some interesting lessons from the North Carolina episode include:

•fragmentation of care can lead to delayed recognition
•delayed recognition of mass hysteria can lead to unnecessary procedures and treatments
And perhaps most importantly, "reluctance of some families to consider psychological explanations for the episodes" can lead to delayed diagnosis.

Other episodes of mass hysteria include:

•15 teen female students at an Alaska high school who were transported to the ER because they were ill appearing and had a variety of symptoms after a possible (later undetected) toxic inhalation exposure at a junior high school.
•75 children in 1983 who developed a headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, and nausea after a women fainted during a Catholic mass in Cincinnati.
•95 students and 3 teachers at a school in Alabama (the Berry outbreak) who developed itching, headache, cough, weakness, sore throat and other symptoms in 1973 after seeing two school girls with severe itching in the hallway.
•17 children and 5 adults who were taken to emergency rooms in 2009 while attending church after a child fainted during the mass in Southern California. While carbon monoxide poisoning was first suspected, further testing was normal at the church and from all of the patients.
•26 children in Belgium were taken to a hospital in 1999 after drinking Coca-Cola that was thought to be contaminated, but was eventually linked to a harmless smell on some of the cans and mass sociogenic illness, but only after causing symptoms among many other children.
And an article in the Journal of Pediatrics (1980), "Diagnosing hysterical conversion reactions," describes 105 children with conversion reactions that were diagnosed over a 3 year period at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. They found that many of their patients had unresolved grief reactions, a clinically depressed parent, and/or significant family communication problems. The authors suggested that "Expanding the history and physical examination to include an evaluation of family interactions and personality diagnoses can be helpful in" accurately diagnosing conversion reactions.

Of course, we don't use the term mass hysteria anymore. The medical diagnosis is conversion disorder and either way, one should be clear that a diagnosis of conversion disorder doesn't mean that the person is faking the symptoms.

Could the teens in Le Roy have conversion disorder? The "Stern: Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry" textbook suggests that to make a diagnosis of conversion disorder:

•negative evidence is critical
•you should have a meticulous review of the evidence
•it requires detective work and close observation of the patient
•you should have confidence in the diagnosis
•the diagnosis cannot rest only on the absence of organic disease
That the doctors are offering to do more tests suggests they may not have confidence in their diagnosis.

Could the the teens in Le Roy be having symptoms that are caused by fracking, nearby natural gas wells, some type of chemical, pesticide, or environmental hazard? I don't know, but I'm not sure that someone like Erin Brockovich is the best person to get involved. Why not someone from a nearby Children's Hospital, state health department, the EPA, CDC, and/or the NIH, so that all of the students can be evaluated by the same experts?

Hopefully, now that the NIH is getting involved, we will get some answers that will satisfy everyone.

If the symptoms are caused by mass hysteria, which are triggered by stress, reports that "national environmental and health groups are beating a path to LeRoy" likely aren't going to make things any better.

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