Mysterious NY ‘twitching’ condition seems to be spreading

Posted on February 5, 2012

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LE ROY, New York (Reuters) – State health officials have added three more names to a growing list of students in this working-class town who are experiencing mysterious tics and twitching, while authorities on Saturday sought to assure parents the community’s high school is safe.

Although the symptoms are typically associated with Tourette Syndrome, that has been ruled out in all but one case, causing fear and confusion among many residents of Le Roy, N.Y., about 50 miles east of Buffalo.

“The building is safe for the community,” District Superintendent Kim Cox told several hundred residents gathered in the auditorium of Le Roy Junior-Senior High School on Saturday.

The Le Roy Central School District scrambled to conduct environmental testing for air quality and mold when an initial 12 students developed tics and impulsive verbal outbursts last fall. But state health investigators ruled out environmental factors, latent side-effects from drugs or vaccines like Gardasil, trauma or genetic factors.

Instead, doctors say conversion disorder – once called mass hysteria – is to blame among an expanding list of patients. Three more unconfirmed cases have been added to the original list of students exhibiting the symptoms, and others are being examined.

Chicago Tribune

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