Friday, February 10, 2012

Freaky (Factual) Tale Friday: 12 girls from same NY high school suddenly develop Tourette's Syndrome

(photo @ realfoodfreaks)


Tourette's Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes its victims to have a series of uncontrollable physical and/or vocal "tics."  These tics can simply be weird facial expressions and sounds, but they can also take the form of violent outbursts and uncontrollable body movements.  

For someone that suffers from Tourette's, the tics can sometimes be temporarily suppressed, but ultimately are beyond the victim's control.   It can be a very frustrating and embarrassing affliction to live with.  It is also generally believed to be a genetically inherited disorder, with only vague theories existing about it having any sort of environmental origins.

One thing that no one has ever seen before is the mass onset of Tourette's Syndrome-like symptoms in a closely linked yet unrelated group of people...unless you count what happened to everyone that watched the series finale of 'Lost', but that's completely understandable.

                                                                       bilerico.com
"That's it?!  How did Ben control the smoke monster?  
Where is Jack's dad's body?  WHAT ABOUT WALT?! ADLKADSFLKJK!"


But apparently it is possible, because 12 girls from the same high school in Le Roy, New York suddenly began having Tourrette's Syndrome-like symptoms at around the same time.  2 of the girls claim that after waking up from a nap, they suddenly began having uncontrollable physical tics and verbal outbursts.  Both of these girls' symptoms began in October. 

Thera Sanchez, who was an honor roll student, cheerleader, and aspiring artist, has been unable to attend classes anymore due to how bad her condition has become.




School and government officials claim that all 12 girls are showing symptoms of  conversion disorder, or "mass hysteria".  They also claim that symptoms the girls are suffering from are purely psychological and not the result of "infection or communicable disease...and there’s no evidence of any environmental factor[s]."

That's right: 12 girls from the same area, but not related and not all of them well known to each other, suddenly develop severe Tourette's Syndrome, and it's all in their heads.  Right....

                                                              darthpolitico
 "Nothing to see here."

Officials also tried to claim that no one else in the school was in danger.  This unfortunately appeared not to be the case when 3 more students from the school began exhibiting the same symptoms, including a male this time.

Fortunately for these 15 victims (and anyone interested in results from people who are not actively trying to cover their own butts), crusader for justice and tight fitting halter tops Erin Brockovich has taken on the case...and made an interesting discovery.

Turns out there was a train derailment in 1970 within 3 miles of the school.  It caused a massive spill of cyanide and very a nasty industrial solvent called trichloroethylene, which can do some serious damage to a person's nervous system.

Hmmm...it looks like it's time to sing this little song from my childhood:


Obviously, this case is a lot more complex than even the victims' at first realized, but I'm glad that they (and their families) aren't taking the lame answers given to them by the state government and the school district.

Here's to hoping that Ms. Brockovich and the people covering this story find some real answers and some help for these girls.

                                                         voodookitchennet
And that Ms. Brockovich dresses appropriately for court.