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12 girls hit by mysterious Tourettes-like disease

Doctors baffled as teens who go to the same school all fall ill with the same symptoms

Twelve teenage girls from the same school in New York, all strangely started having Tourettes-like symptoms such as facial tics, uncontrollable body movements and verbal outbursts.


High School student Thera Sanshez, 17, who is one of the twelve affected girls, woke up from a nap last October, stuttering uncontrollably. Her symptoms have continued since then.

The doctor, who is treating some of the girls, has revealed his explanation for what’s causing the symptoms. Neurologist Dr. Laszlo Mechtler said the girls have “conversion disorder” or mass hysteria.

“It’s happened before, all around the world, in different parts of the world. It’s a rare phenomena,” explained Laszlo. “The bottom line is these teenagers will get better,” said Laszlo.

The girl’s parents questioned whether there was something in the air or the environment of the girl’s school. But, officials from the LeRoy Junior-Senior High School, New York have released environmental reports showing there are no possible causes in the school buildings.

Conversion disorder is a rare, stress-induced psychological condition.

“So if you have stress inside of you, it wells up inside of you and comes out in some physical manner, be it a tic, or seizure, or fainting spells, or blindness,” said Dr. Jennifer McVige, a pediatric neurologist who is also treating the girls.

With accusations claiming the girls are faking their symptoms, Jennifer said they couldn’t be.

"Oh no, I have been a very busy woman and this is not a hoax. I wish for the sake of the girls that I could say that it wasn't real. It's been very difficult for everyone involved," said Jennifer.



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