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LeRoy Mystery Illness; Similar to NC Case

1:18 PM, Feb 24, 2012   |    comments
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LEROY, NY - Many of the teens and their parents have been dissatisfied with the diagnosis from local doctors, who say conversion disorder and mass psychogenic illness -- previously known as mass hysteria -- are to blame.

Dr. E. Steve Roach, who is an expert in the field and chief of neurology at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus told 2 On Your Side about his study from a decade ago.

In 2002, ten girls from a rural high school in North Carolina started experiencing symptoms of epilepsy; however, they were not suffering from that disorder. Instead, doctors determined is was psychological.

Dr. Roach said he cannot comment specifically on the LeRoy case, because he has not met or treated those patients; however, he said conversion disorder is a difficult diagnosis for people to accept.

"I've had people get just practically angry, because you're telling them that it's psychological," Dr. Roach said. "You're telling them, 'Okay your child is going to live happily ever after and doesn't have some dreaded, untreatable disease... I mean, wow, that ought to be a cause for celebration and yet you'll see people sometimes react angrily to that."

Many people in LeRoy are angry, because they want answers.

Some are meeting with a Doctor from Downstate New York, Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, who believes an autoimmune disorder may be to blame. That meeting will take place Sunday.

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