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February 7, 2012 - 7:41am

Today's Poll: What do you think is the cause of the Le Roy illness?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Jennifer Keys
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If the cause of conversion disorder is stress then wouldn't choice four and choice one be the same thing? When I am stressed it is generally a multitude of things that are stressing me, but one or two that kind of tip the scales.

Bea McManis
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I agree, Jen.

Cecelia Lullo
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Asked our Batavia Middle School daughter what she and her friends thought of the Leroy situation. She said they are not paying any attention to it-to busy with other things! If they were as absorbed with it as everyone else seems to be, we'd be having this problem in Batavia.

Howard B. Owens
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Jennifer, some people don't think it's any one thing in all cases; and some people link PANDAS and environmental toxins are linked.

John Roach
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I wish 'other' had been a choice.

Lori Silvernail
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It's hard to know where to post thoughts on this issue anymore, there are so many articles! But here's my take on it as it stands today:

At first I felt nothing but compassion for the girls and their families, and hoped a common denominator and diagnosis could be found. The longer this goes on, the more confusing it becomes.

We have doctors who publicly disagree, and who post statements to support their beliefs. It creates a situation of "who do you believe" since they won't work together behind closed doors and then present their findings as a unified team who have the children's well being front and center. It bothers me most, I think, that a doctor will make a statement in writing or on television, saying that "all" of the patients this or that, and then parents will report that their child was never seen by that doctor, or they were never told something the doctor is claiming they all have been told. Why the lies?

Cries of "we need to hear from the superintendent" are followed by a statement from Ms. Cox, who says that everything that can be done is being done, and here are the results. Then her word isn't good enough for those same people. WHY would Ms. Cox be involved in some sort of cover up? Isn't her career and reputation at stake?

A parent contacted Erin Brockovich. She and her team responded. Then we're met with the "she's just a fame _____ and is looking to make money" sorts of comments. SHE didn't contact the parents, THEY contacted her! If she has access to the right strings to pull, why disrespect her before she even gets her feet wet?

Parents and some of the girls are making the rounds of the television shows, the Today show and now Dr. Drew. If, by some chance it IS conversion disorder and stress exacerbates the condition, why are they putting their children out there like that?

A simple compassion for the girls and the hope of a diagnosis, has really morphed into an "I'm sick of it" feeling within myself. It isn't that I don't still feel compassion for them, but the professionals need to start acting like professionals, and the parents need to think about what this media exposure might have long term on their children. I think the lies and finger pointing need to stop, or this will be seen nationwide as a circus sideshow, if it isn't already.

bud prevost
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Well stated Lori

John Woodworth JR
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After seeing some of these parents and the way they reacted in the meeting last Saturday, I can probably guess what the girls' stressor factors are. My lord, not sure who the blonde woman with glasses was but, she had no clue. She runs a day care at her home? I do feel a few of the girls have real issues but, when the parents are trying to find an excuse for their girls' illness to be other than psychological. Well then, there is no reasoning with that especially, now you have the media circus and Erin Brockovich trying to find an environmental issue that may or may not exist. Several doctors have examined these girls and all say the same thing. Yet, there are still doctors who feel it could be something else.

Many of these girls have been examined several times and with the same results. Many are showing signs of improvement according to these doctors. All the families were offered additional examinations at no cost but, some refused. I heard this individual on WHAM yesterday call up and stated his daughter was diagnosed with something other than conversion disorder and stated, it was no one else’s business. Which seems he is trying to make up an illness that will be hard press to disprove or he is making a false statement? I know if, my daughter was affected by something, I would make damn sure people knew especially if, either an environmental or infectious disease was behind it.

John Woodworth JR
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Very well put Lori.

Jennifer Keys
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Yes, got it. Shouldn't post first thing in the morning. I was thinking a combination of things goes into Conversion Disorder & PANDAS, but I can see some people could think it's a combination of other things that aren't pointing towards Conversion Disorder or PANDAS. Human beings are extremely complex creatures.

C. M. Barons
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I am not an infectious disease specialist nor an environmental toxicologist nor a psychologist; a diagnosis from me is not forthcoming. I offer a couple comments: Doctors have been shedding trust since the Supreme Court in 1975 transformed them into business-people. Sickness results from a combination of two factors: exposure to infectious agent or agents and inability to defend against it/them. The notion of single cause is an over-simplification. Often what outside observers consider disease symptoms are manifestations of body defense. Such is the case with fever, runny nose and the behavior of schizophrenics.

Howard B. Owens
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Here's something new making the rounds ... ergot poisoning.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/02/tics-and-toxins-pesticide-ban-rainfal...

Ed Gentner
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Howard, the theory of rye ergot fungus poisoning is one that merits consideration. Wasn't it the study of rye ergot fungus that led to the original discovery of LSD in the late 1940's? The classic 1950's horror film "Scream" or "Tingler" starring Vincent Price used it as a plot device. It was one of the first Hollywood references to the drug and it's effects on human subjects.

Howard B. Owens
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If you read the description of symptoms there is some significant mismatch. There's been no report from the conversion disorder patients of hallucinations and spasms (which isn't the same as tics), for example.

Also, nothing in the literature I found (I did a little more Google searching) offers a plausible clue as to why something like this would effect girls and not boys (except the one), nor does it explain how a 36-year-old woman not playing on the school fields developed tics.

Nor does such a theory explain why the tics have persisted, except where the patients have accepted the conversion disorder diagnosis and subsequently improved.

Jackie Kelly
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I read that and laughed! I live a few houses down from the school. I remember the orange stains on the grass that they are stating is rye ergot. We had it in our yard as a result of a hot summer. I actually took a sample to the Batavia Cooperative Extension, and was told it was a harmless rust (fungus) which develops with hot weather on bluegrass. I don't remember if I kept the paperwork, will have to look for it. We stopped Chemlawn that year, so all kinds of different weeds and fungus were growing with the hot summer. It is harmless but a pain as it did stain my kids sneakers and clothes with a red orange tint. I did not ooze as some have reported, but was more like a dust cloud when the kids ran through it. My kids 16 year old daughter and 12 year old son are fine.

Ed Gentner
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The Vincent Price film "Tingler" was a scream and a half, very funny and the main prop used in the film was later used in a Star Trek episode....a demonstartion that the acquisition of a BA in History wasn't a total waste afterall.....

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