I first wrote this article in 2013, yet it continues to be one of the top read articles on this blog. I’m not sure why, it may be because the outbreak was blamed on many factors that cross paths with internet conspiracies about health. Like vaccines.
Since this article about the LeRoy neurological disorders is so popular, I decided to update it (and clean up the huge number of broken links). I have also looked at the recent news about “outbreak,” and I will post links to some of the more intriguing hypotheses here.
None of the teens had ever exhibited other symptoms of a neurological deficit, and most of them have subsequently recovered. Two new cases appeared in 2013, but none since.
Numerous individuals, including officials of the Monroe County and New York State Departments of Health, attorneys, antivaccination cultists, and others whose speculation ran from useful to outright delusional. Many individuals who “diagnosed” the teens without actually ever meeting them (proper diagnosis of neurodevelopment disorders requires one on one assessment, not the famous “let’s diagnose medicine over the internet). Continue reading “Update to the LeRoy (NY) teenagers’ mystery neurological illnesses”
I’ve published a few postsover the past month about a group of teenagers and one adult who are experiencing some neurological symptoms in LeRoy, NY, a small town outside of Rochester, NY. Those symptoms seem to mimic Tourette Syndrome (TS), a neuropsychiatric disorder that is characterized by multiple physical or motor tics plus at least one vocal tic. It is probably inherited, although a gene for it has not been identified. Since most of the teenagers who exhibit the symptoms attend LeRoy High School, the New York State Department of Health has carefully examined the school for any environmental issues, and have found none. Erin Brokovich, of the eponymous movie, has gotten involved and has postulated that a train wreck over 40 years ago spilled toxic chemicals, such as arsenic and trichloroethylene, which may be the cause. Continue reading “The newest cause for the LeRoy neurological issues”
Erin Brockovich is really getting involved with the cluster of alleged neurological issues in teenagers in the Leroy, NY area. The article describes the symptoms as “Tourette’s-like”, but I’m troubled by the lack of a definitive description (let alone diagnosis). Brockovich, as discussed previously, is still focused on the 1970’s train derailment which spilled arsenic and tricholorethylene. The speculation about what is causing these issues run from mass hysteria, even outright feigned behavior, to something environmental, such as vaccines or chemicals.
It’s hard to tell what’s going on. I am almost certain that during the next few days or weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will get involved, interviewing and testing the students, and trying to determine if there is some correlation and possible causal factor. We probably should wait until the real scientists get involved and provide some real analysis with evidence.
I keep running into this story in various locations on the internet. During the past few months, 15 teenagers, mostly students at LeRoy (NY) High School just outside of Rochester, NY, reported neurological symptoms that resemble Tourette’s Syndrome.
The school district has reported that there are no known environmental issues in the air and water. Given very strict privacy laws, we don’t know if there’s some other medical link (like HPV vaccine). Of course, if HPV vaccine or some other pharmaceutical were involved, it would be very curious that only a small, rural, upstate New York town would be involved.
Right now, there is no evidence that points in any direction. If you hear that it’s vaccines, you may as well blame alien abduction, because there’s no evidence for that either. Everything is just speculation.