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LeRoy Students Get Latest In High-Tech Brain Testing

1:31 PM, Feb 23, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - On Sunday, five of the LeRoy students who are suffering from Tourette's-like movements underwent the latest in high tech brain testing.

Five girls underwent the most advanced MRI's, MRI's that show  remarkable 3-D images of brain fibers, at the Dent Neurological Institute in Amherst.

Most of the 18 students who have developed conversion disorder are being treated at Dent.

The goal of those treating the students:

Dr. Laszlo Mechtler: "Offer them the best care and see if we can look into their minds and find out what's so peculiar, what's so different from somebody in the same class who does not come down with conversion disorder, that's what we're looking at and there's a possibility we won't find anything and we won't know unless we look."

Dr. Mechtler and another neurologist at Dent are now working with what could be called a national dream team of doctors and researchers on the LeRoy case.

Dr. Laszlo Mechtler: "We did put a team together of specialists at Rochester, Columbia, Harvard and UCLA and we're working and trying to get information on how they do things, and try to do the proper testing without making these children worse, and without reinforcing their symptoms."

Scott Brown: "How much of this is the stigma that you have some sort of psychological problem?"

Dr. Laszlo Mechtler: "That's the problem we're having. Because it's easy to tell someone you have a brain tumor, you have MS, it's very difficult to say you have real symptoms but no organic background, patients don't understand that, parents don't understand that."

Mechtler says conspiracy theories are being fanned by those on cable TV who have never examined the girls.

Mechtler says most of the 18 students are being treated at Dent for the underlying causes of the disorder. Things like:

* Stress

* Anxiety

* Depression

* Sleep Problems

Dr. Laszlo Mechtler: "At the end of the day, we're still seeing improvement with these children and I'm optimistic that they will get better with time."

Dr. Mechtler says the results of the MRI testing should be known in the next week or two.

If they come back negative, then Mechtler says doctors will know they'll then have to go in another direction to try and discover why the girls who have been affected are so susceptible to conversion disorder.

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