Tourette’s symptoms seen in 12 girls from same school district

By David Edwards
Thursday, January 12, 2012 14:35 EDT
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Female High School student (Flickr/Casey Lessard)
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Administrators in the Leroy Central School District on Wednesday said that 12 female high school students were being treated for symptoms resembling Tourette’s Syndrome.

Superintendent Kim Cox had revealed in November that the district was working with parents, medical professionals and the New York State Health Department to determine the cause of the symptoms.

At the time, WHAM reported that at least six of those students were experiencing tics and shaking, symptoms similar to Tourette’s Syndrome.

The school district on Wednesday held a meeting at LeRoy High School to tell parents that all 12 students had been diagnosed and treated. Due to federal HIPPA restrictions, officials would not elaborate on the diagnoses.

“I can assure you these children have all been seen by professionals that have come up with answers and they are all being treated and they’re actually doing pretty well,” Dr. Greg Young said on behalf of New York Department of Health.

Investigators ruled out all environmental factors, including carbon monoxide poisoning. Young suggested that genetics, head trauma, drugs and stress have all been factors in related cases nationwide. In this case, all of the students tested negative for drugs.

Following the meeting, one father told WGRZ that his daughter had missed almost every day of school during the past month.

“Now she has to be tutored,” Jim DuPont said. “And I worry about her future. She’s only 17. She can’t even drive now.”

A statement on the Le Roy Central School District website pointed to stress as a cause.

“These symptoms are real,” the statement explained. “All of the affected students have been evaluated and some have shown signs of improvement. We expect the students will get better in time.”

Watch this video from WGRZ, broadcast Jan. 11, 2012.

Photo: Flickr/Casey Lessard

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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