Disturbing news about a number of teens coming down with unexplained Tourette-like symptoms in New York State has been buzzing through the internet. Gizmodo recently reported about the YouTube diary videos of Lori Brownell, one of the 17 affected students, who has been documenting her strange illness over the past several months. Of the 17 students showing these symptoms, 15 attend the same LeRoy High School in Genesee County, and all but one are female. The two other girls, Lori and a classmate from Corinth in Saratoga County coincidentally travelled through LeRoy last year for a softball tournament. While doctors are stumped, the National Institute of Health and even Erin Brockovich are preparing to investigate the cause of this mysterious outbreak. Check out Lori’s video showing her symptoms after the jump.
Lori shares that her symptoms started last August, after passing out at a concert and then at her homecoming dance. She says the fainting was soon accompanied by seizures and began occurring more often. She was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and prescribed Celexa and then began twitching and showing strange verbal and physical tics. After being taken off the medication, Lori claims the symptoms became worse and with the emergence of 16 reportedly similar cases, doctors are beginning to scratch their heads.
School officials in Le Roy say they have ruled out all possible environmental factors, infections and even the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. But with 17 afflicted children total, parents are reaching out for help on a larger scale. The National Institute of Health is planning to launch an investigation in the next several weeks and even famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich is planning to send scientists to collect soil samples around LeRoy high school.