Local Matters

Community Sponsors

February 3, 2012 - 6:45pm

Three of the original 12 students with tic-like symptoms in Le Roy had preexisting conditions

posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Three of the original 12 students who displayed tic-like symptoms at Le Roy High School had preexisting conditions, according to a report released today by the NYS Department of Health.

One of the students had previously been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and suffered an acceleration of symptoms during the onset of the 12 cases.

The other eight students were diagnosed with conversion disorder.

Three more students have been identified since the DOH started preparing its report.

The age range of the students is 13 to 19.

From the report, "All 12 students were evaluated by Work Fit Medical and eight of the 12 were evaluated by DENT Neurologic Institute."

Two of the three students with preexisting conditions had been tic free for some time, but experienced an exacerbation of tic symptoms during this time period.

Of the original 12, significant life stressors were identified in 11 patients.

One of the original 12 students did not seek medical treatment.

The report goes into some detail on the investigative process the DOH went through to examine the case.

As part of the environmental evaluation, the DOH states it, "consulted with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Lehigh Valley Railroad Derailment Superfund Site and reviewed information pertaining to the Lapp Insulator and Target Products sites to determine the potential for spread of contamination to the school campus."

It also states:

Interviews of the 12 cases did not reveal any common environmental exposures, other than attendance at the same school. The occurrence of symptoms in only female students and the range of time of symptom onset are not consistent with an environmental cause.

An exhaustive search of prior reports of environmental contamination causing tic disorders showed only a couple of cases worldwide, according to the report.

As for infectious causes, the 12 students did not have common experiences to explain an infectious onset.

"Drug use was ruled out based on interviews with all the cases, and toxicology screens on seven of the cases," states the report.

Seven students received Gardisil.

"Six of seven cases who received Gardisil had onset of tic symptoms greater than one year after their last dose of vaccine," states the report.

According to the report, none of the cases were consistent with PANDAS.

The report also states:

A post-licensure safety study of HPV vaccine among 189,629 females completed by an independent safety team of experts, identified no association between vaccination with Gardisil and neurologic disorders

In its conclusion, the report states:

The healthcare providers and public health agencies involved in this investigation consider this cluster of cases to be the result of conversion disorder/mass psychogenic illness.


While outbreaks of psychiatric or neurologic disease without clear explanation are unusual, similar cases have been documented (11-14). The conversion disorder/mass psychogenic illness conclusion is based on individual medical evaluations, the presence of significant life stressors, and demographic characteristics of the cases. It is uncertain what role conversion disorder played in the recurrence/acceleration of symptoms in the three cases with preexisting medical conditions.

The report encourages families of affected children to continue individualized care with their treating physicians.

Read the full report (PDF).

Laura Russell Ricci
Laura Russell Ricci's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jul 1 2008 - 12:05pm

Thank you for sharing this!

Timothy Hens
Timothy Hens's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 1 2009 - 10:01am

Howard--thanks for the sharing the report. It covers all of the rumors and answers a lot of questions.

Hopefully people will read it.

Ed Glow
Ed Glow's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Dec 16 2008 - 7:49pm

Thanks Howard, it appears you're the only one divulging this info! I haven't seen any mention what-so-ever by another source stating ANY of these individuals experienced "disorder" or "tic" problems previously. I, for one, would have investigated each person's past health records with a microscope before even considering calling in the Health Dept., I can't believe this wasn't done!

I'm not a scientist nor do I have a degree in environmental science but since day one common sense thinking has been telling me there's NO way this could be an envirnmental issue. As I've seen recently in other articles my exact words at the onslaught have been repeated... "environmental problems aren't sex or age discriminating, it seems Very odd that only these people are having a common problem. If it were environmentally caused there would be a whole lot more"!

Let's hope the "Brokovich Team" packs their bags and heads for the hills, with all of these people experiencing some type of disorder previously it wouldn't make for much of a headliner on TV... except maybe over at Dupont's place.

Tom Frew
Tom Frew's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 25 2009 - 12:26pm

I read this report Friday evening when it appeared as a link on the Channel 10 website. It ought to be required reading for people with any kind of concern with the currect situation. I can sympathize with these parents but at the same time there is a right way to go about this. I have spoken to experts in the field of Health, Safety and Environment at Eastman Kodak where I work. Their feedback was based on their readings and observations in the media, LeRoy Central is managing this process perfectly and in a very scientific manner. I trust those folks tremendously because I know they've had enviromental issues over the years that dwarf this situation. Having said this, it probably still doesn't make parents warm and fuzzy. This is a tedious process requiring patience, communication and a littel restraint. Let's all remember that the people working on this for the district make their living, in general, via our tax dollars and not by selling 20-25 television commercials within an hour's timeframe. Let's be respective of one another and not tear our community any longer.

bud prevost
bud prevost's picture
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: Jan 11 2009 - 9:12pm

Tom, I appreciated your input today. It was nice to hear a voice of reason amongst the chaos. I have refrained from commenting on this previously, because it has been a volatile situation, with inflamed emotions overpowering logic and reason.
I also would like to thank my fellow Leroyans for attending this morning. While the circumstances suck, it makes me feel good to be a part of such a caring community.

Tom Frew
Tom Frew's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 25 2009 - 12:26pm

Bud: As I stated, although a little different scenario, Anne and I lived something similar years ago. It was the worse 6 months of our lives. In the end, our child got better, attended college, graduated, secured a job in this economy and is married with a family. I'm not a real religious guy but we got some help somewhere and everyone lived happily ever after. Through the entire thing I thought many times, this only happens to other people. Well guess what, you swallow some humble pie and you help your kid get better with a quiet, healthy & supportive environment. These folks won't be as successful as quickly by flashing themselves infront of the media with unresearched, out of control allegations. Its a very sad situation which somehow I hope has a happy ending.

Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Last seen: 3 hours 55 min ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

Tom, I thought it was great that you shared your personal experience today. That took a lot of courage and was good for people to hear.

Post new comment

Log in or register to post comments



Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button