New York Students With Mystery Illness Show Improvements

As a bizarre case of tics plagued around over a dozen teenage girls in a New York district, their doctor has begun to record a cessation of the mystery illness.

Dr. Jennifer McVige of Dent Neurologic Institute in Amherst saw 15 cases of uncontrollable tics over a period of a few weeks. But now many seem to be leading to a steady improvement in their condition.

McVige said:

"There are two of the girls that are all better, and there are three more that are just there."

The Conversion psychological disorder that McVige diagnosed can be triggered only from when a person is subjected to stress or trauma. It can, however, be contagious.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine defined Conversion disorder as being when blindness, paralysis, or other neurological symptoms cannot be explained by medical evaluation.

"What we do believe is that there may have been one or two index cases who truly had tic disorder or Tourette disorder and then there was an individual who came after that was most likely good friends with this individual that developed symptoms."

Some of the girls originally believed they didn't have enough stress in their lives to bring on these symptoms, but McVige said they are starting to believe her, writes Melissa Holmes at WGRZ-TV.

"Sometimes people don't even know what it was that really harmed them or that they were keeping inside."

Despite various treatments, McVige found that the most successful remedy was when TV stations pulled the video of the girls from the air and the Web.

This comes after Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a child neurologist based in Ramsey diagnosed eight of the nine girls he examined with illnesses with pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS).

Antibiotics are traditionally used to treat PANDAS, though it is unclear whether Trifeletti prescribed doses to the patients.

"Many people have gone to see Dr. Trifiletti for the first visit but have not gone back," McVige said.

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