Whatever happened with the LeRoy tics?
Short answer: The 20 individuals who suffered from the tics originally have recovered, which I am thrilled to hear. However, it was reported in September 2012 that two new cases were identified in LeRoy.
Long answer: Hi Reader. Media wonks seem to have largely forgotten about the drama in LeRoy, New York that occurred earlier this year. However, I am sure that you remember well the tale of the young women (and one young man) who were afflicted with Tourette’s- like tics. Many “experts” rushed to the fore to dispense their agenda-ridden declarations as to the cause of the tics, including the anti-vax brigade. In addition, Dr. Rosario Trifiletti declared confidently that the diagnosis of conversion disorder was “garbage”, and that the real cause was pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS). Erin Brockovich scurried over to implicate various and sundry “environmental toxins”.
So what happened to the LeRoy teens and the attendant circus that went on around them? What caused–and may still be causing– the mysterious tics? Wherefore all of the experts who weighed in? Well, as of now, we know that HPV vaccine was ruled out as a cause. Next, extensive testing of air, soil, and water showed nothing of concern in the LeRoy Junior/Senior high. If you’ve got some time you can read the entire report here. Erin Brockovich was scheduled to show up in LeRoy in August to present the findings of her own investigation, but was a no-show, allegedly due to a staph infection. Her deputy Bob Bowcock took over the duties and revealed…nothing, really. He admitted that:
“There is no link specifically that I can draw to environmental exposure because there are so many environmental exposures that occurred at the high school”…
and then went on to pave the way for his permanent exit from the LeRoy drama, stating:
We’re not washing our hands of what is going on at the school. What we’re doing is empowering the community to take action and rectify the problem that we, from an environmental stand point, have identified.”
That, my reader, is just legendary, epic spin right there. The next time I abandon a cause I’m gonna use the empowerment rationale fershure. But anyway, what about Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, who claimed that he had determined that PANDAS was the cause of the tics? Well, he has pretty much disappeared since he had revealed his scientific findings via the New York Times comments section. Perhaps he is writing up his findings for a legitimate journal as I type this.
The one thing about the LeRoy tics that remains clear is that the majority of the officials involved remain convinced that the phenomenon was caused by conversion disorder. This is backed up by a recent posting at the LeRoy School District website, which reads in part:
“With the beginning of the new school year, we are asking all media outlets and other individuals, to please respect that the Le Roy School District will no longer be commenting on student health issues within our schools. We have been warned by medical experts that the continued media attention on the Le Roy School District and greater community runs the risk of negatively impacting the students previously diagnosed with conversion disorder that have recovered and can also serve as a catalyst for new symptoms to develop.”
And therefore, reader, this will be my final post on the subject as well. I send my best wishes for the continued recovery of the teens who were and are affected by the tics.