LeROY, N.Y. (WIVB) - A doctor treating most of the dozen Genesee County girls suffering from mysterious spasms has received permission from one patient's family to reveal her diagnosis.
Dr. Jennifer McVige of the Dent Neurologic Institute says the patient she has permission to talk about is diagnosed with Conversion Disorder. It's a psychological condition where a person manifests physical symptoms of an illness such as seizures, headaches, uncontrollable shaking or tics.
Dr. McVige, who is treating 11 of the 12 patients in this case, says victims do not do this purposely, rather subconsciously.
She explained, "What you find is individuals who have manifested this disorder have a great deal of stress, or there was a stressor in their life or a stressful moment in their life. It's kind of like the straw that broke the camel's back."
It's still not known why nearly all 12 LeRoy High School girls began showing symptoms nine months ago at about the same time. The school recently held a meeting to address the issue with parents, saying all the girls have been treated and are improving.
Two of those girls appeared on NBC's Today Show Tuesday morning. Thera Sanchez, who is not a patient of Dr. McVige, says she's frustrated because she believes doctors are not getting to the bottom of this.
"I want an answer, a straight answer. I've had psychological treatment. They say this is stressed induced? My psychological treatment, that's all they do is stress me out more," said Sanchez.
Dr. McVige said, "There have been multiple studies performed. Imaging, laboratory studies - there's nothing that makes me believe that this is related to anything infectious, any drug-related issues."
Dr. McVige agrees with the official statement put out by the LeRoy School District Tuesday saying that studies show there are no environmental factors and the condition is not contagious. The statement reads, "The medical and environmental investigations have not uncovered any evidence that would link the neurological symptoms to anything in the environment or of an infectious nature."
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