Updated: Thursday, 26 Jan 2012, 1:37 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 25 Jan 2012, 5:43 PM EST
LeROY, N.Y. (WIVB) - A medical mystery in Genesee County appears to be growing and a famed environmental activist is stepping in.
The New York State Department of Health has confirmed with News 4 that at least three new suspected cases of Conversion Disorder have been reported in LeRoy. These patients are showing the same symptoms presented by 12 others, who are already confirmed to have the disorder.
Despite many neighbors not wanting to speak on camera, many in LeRoy are voicing their concerns. One local church is even posting signs about it saying they are praying for their high school girls.
News 4 has also learned one of those new patients is a boy. Mary Tuohey has lived in LeRoy all her life and calls the spread of this medical mystery a phenomenon.
"It's bizarre; it's unexplainable. It's got everybody wondering because there's no answers," said Tuohey.
The State Department of Health reports each of the three new cases are being evaluated by private doctors, who will then share their findings with the state. News 4 tried asking administrators at LeRoy Central School offices for more information on their investigation, but they had nothing to say.
As we've reported, two girls in the Albany say they too have symptoms of Conversion Disorder - twitching, convulsions and joint pain - similar to what the LeRoy patients are facing.
Lori Brownell, who is showing symptoms, said, "It's hard to get to sleep or stay asleep because my ticks wake me up and I tick while I'm sleeping so it's hard in that part."
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is now reportedly sending a team in for testing. Residents say they hope she can get to the bottom of it - because somebody has to.
And though previous media reports say otherwise, aside from doing research on Conversion Disorder, the National Institute of Health reports they have absolutely no involvement in LeRoy. Representatives tell News 4 they have not asked for increased testing and say, for now, there are no future testing events planned.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the NIH, is currently doing research on the disorder. News 4 was told, "The teens experiencing what is thought to be Conversion Disorder could be enrolled in an NIH research study if they meet the criteria for an ongoing protocol and are referred by their physicians."
We reached out to the Dent Neurologic Institute numerous times, to see if any referrals had been made. Our calls were never returned.
The NIH reports Conversion Disorder symptoms can last for days or sometimes weeks. They say the symptoms may also suddenly go away. To learn more about the signs and symptoms of Conversion Disorder, click here.
Though there have been questions about a possible connection between Conversion Disorder and the HPV vaccine, a professor of neurology at the University of Buffalo tells News 4 the two are not connected.