posted on January 31, 2012 06:38
The LeRoy Central School District has renewed its confidence in the findings of the New York State Health Department and the diagnosis of the Dent Neurologic Institute with respect to those 15 students suffering from Tourette’s like symptoms.
In a statement released late yesterday, the school district reiterated that "no evidence of environmental causes, or infections" are to blame for the students illness.
Following is the entire text of the district's statement:
Kim Cox, the superintendent of the Le Roy Central School District, is referring media inquiries on medical and environmental questions to the experts from the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. They are best equipped to answer your technical questions, as they have ours.
As has been communicated, the District has been working closely for months with numerous medical professionals, the State Department of Health, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. All of these agencies and dozens of professionals from these agencies have assured the District that the school is safe. There is no evidence of an environmental situation or infectious cause. In addition, to help assist the District with assessing all aspects of this situation, it hired its own independent environmental expert to conduct a review of the findings and offer alternative approaches if needed. This was done not because the District questioned the state medical professionals or federal agencies, but to help reassure the community. There are also some who are attempting to marry the 1970 derailment to the school when in fact the plume has been shown as moving in the opposite direction some three miles away.
The Le Roy community should take assurance that the Department of Health concluded extensive reviews of both the epidemiology and the clinical evaluations and found no evidence of environmental or infection as the cause of the students’ illness. An environmental exposure would affect many people. The treating physicians ruled out PANDAS. The school was tested for Volatile Organic Compounds (including TCE) by an independent firm. The school is served by a public water system. The Gardasil vaccine was ruled out because many of the girls did not receive the vaccine. The Department of Environmental Conservation reaffirmed the evaluation that there is no evidence of environmental factors.
The District will certainly welcome input from outside experts if they choose to offer it in a professional and constructive manner. It will rely on its own expert as well as counsel from the Department of Health, DEC and EPA as to whether any further testing is deemed appropriate. However, in the event that it is recommended, it will be done with a specific plan based upon all available information and accepted scientific protocols. The District wants to be clear that it has confidence with respect to the conclusions of the Department of Health based upon its comprehensive review of this situation as well as the assessment of the physicians at the DENT Neurologic Institute.
The Le Roy Central School District and the Leroy community want what is best for the children in the schools. Unfortunately, the endless speculation without factual basis is creating an extreme level of anxiety and concern. Students are unable to focus on learning. The constant attention has had a negative impact on the recovery of some of the students who are directly affected, many who were improving and whose symptoms have now become exacerbated. The District knows this has been an emotionally hard situation on the community and everyone hopes for the speedy recovery of its students.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:21 AM
Has the EPA or NYDEC looked at possible pesticide exposures? Two pesticides in particular Round-up (Glyphosate) or Armezon are both highly toxic and widely used by agri business. They are sprayed on crops. Has the girls urine been tested for pesticide related chemicals?
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:44 AM
If the school officials didn't handle the investigation right the first time, why should anyone believe them now!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:58 AM
I thought the treating physicians didn't specialize in PANDAS so how could they have ruled not out? Did you even take soil samples from the schoolground like the Brockovitch team wanted to? Ms. Cox it sounds like you are white washing.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:28 AM
Could the the turf on the field be making them sick?
Since at least two of these girls were cheerleaders and liely practiced on the athletic fields it seems testing the turf (including astro-turf) on the athletic fields (and nearby feilds) should be a top priority.
Across the country, there have been other cases where athletes have become sick after playing on a field, A football team at a McMinnville High school in Oregon, a football team from Yates High School in Texas, an Austin High School marching band playing at Houston ISD stadium suddenly became ill during a football game in Texas. Toxins were found in the students blood, and chemcical inhalation was found to be the reason for sudden illness in the marching band case.
"Parents: airborne cause of 22 students’ illness at HISD football game, but probe inconclusive "
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 11:42 AM
Lesleyloo is absolutely correct. The local neurologists are not PANDAS/PANS experts. They ruled it out prematurely.
PANDAS/PANS is now back on the table as a potential cause of the girls' symptoms.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:45 PM
PANS/PANDAS is such a highly disputed diagnosis. In addition, the fact that all of these patients are female make it even more prevelant that this is convergence disorder and not Pandas.
The guy looking for the PANS diagnosis is a Maverick, even if he finds something some of the medications they use can be harmful when treating these cases, as I understand it some of the kids that have stayed out of the media have gotten better, this exposes even more that this is definitely convergence disorder.
If the parents and children just accept the diagnosis they will see improvements, this story has turned into a complete circus and is very disappointing.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:36 PM
The superintendent is parsing words. If there is "no evidence of environmental causes or infections", its because the testing hasn't been done yet; no testing, no evidence. If they really cared about these girls they'd be looking for answers from environmental toxicologists rather than the bozos who came up with the "it's all in their heads" diagnosis. Checking the water fountains and school pesticide spraying records is hardly scratching the surface in an area that is well known to have groundwater contamination problems, where CAFOs and drilling are going on nearby and a superfund site may be leeching out of containment whenever it rains.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:45 PM
The symptoms the students are experiencing are eerily similiar to what my son has and is experiencing. He was exposed to lindane and developed Tourettes, seizure disorders, had many abnormal EEG's and was diagnosed with PANDA after his pediatrician did blood work and found strep.
Please don't just take the word of the health dept, the education dept, etc. There IS something wrong and it needs further evaluation.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 9:32 AM
Anderson coop: because the affected are all girls could point to hormonal explanations as well and just because some of them are improving with time and medicines does not mean somethingnisnwrong biologically.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 9:41 AM
Very revealing article. The LeRoy school district has clearly described its intent to employ "tobacco science," which is "science" designed to come to a preconceived conclusion. The district's latest expert will conduct an investigation designed to "reassure the community." If the district were bringing in a truly independent environmental expert, it would not know in advance that the findings would be reassuring.
From the article:
In addition, to help assist the District with assessing all aspects of this situation, it hired its own independent environmental expert to conduct a review of the findings and offer alternative approaches if needed. This was done not because the District questioned the state medical professionals or federal agencies, but to help reassure the community.
Note: The term "Tobacco Science" is synonymous with "Vaccine Science"
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:13 PM
You say PANDAS is a highly disputed diagnosis, but "conversion disorder" is not?? What a joke. Conversion disorder is a default diagnosis for a grab-bag of symptoms - there is absolutely no science to it whatsoever. And how sexist is your claim is that since it's all women, it's more "prevalent" that it's convergence disorder (i.e. mass hysteria). (They're not all women anyway - haven't you heard? There's a male student with the same symptoms.) PANDAS has been well studied. OCD related to strep is real.
Your claim that you've "heard" that kids who have stayed out of the media have gotten better is pure, unsubstantiated rumor.
My favorite little fact of yours is "if the parents and children just accept the diagnosis, they will see improvements." I'd love to see the study or other scientific evidence to back up that absurd claim.
One thing I cannot disagree with you about is the appropriateness of your screen name. You, like Anderson Cooper, are a defender of industry, pretending to be a truth seeker.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:32 PM
1) I am not entirely convinced that some of the girls are improving with this Conversion Disorder "treatment." Masking symptoms with 9 anti-tic/psych. drugs does NOT equal "getting better." That is called symptomatic treatment, the underlying problem is still there.
2) If this is PANDAS/PANS (or it's close cousin Sydenham's Chorea, aka St. Vitus Dance) there may be hormonal reasons (as Lesleyloo already stated) why mostly girls are affected. For example with SC, "Sydenham's chorea is a neurological disorder causing involuntary movements, muscle weakness, and emotional disturbances. After puberty, chorea is seen only in females (507). " DID YOU GET THAT BIT? "AFTER PUBERTY, CHOREA IS SEEN ONLY IN FEMALES" http://cmr.asm.org/content/13/3/470.full#xref-ref-509-1
3) If this is Sydenham's Chorea, a percentage of girls may also have spontaneous remission after 2-6 mo. THIS IS COMMONLY KNOW TO HAPPEN WITH SC. So, if some of the girls are indeed improving, it may be no thanks to the Dent docs. Of course, they will want to take the credit for any of that improvement.
4) You stated, "In addition, the fact that all of these patients are female make it even more prevelant that this is convergence disorder and not Pandas." I suupose you are not aware that THERE IS A BOY AFFECTED?
5) You stated, "The guy looking for the PANS diagnosis is a Maverick". I am quite familiar with Dr. Trifiletti. He is extremely thorough and well-respected in the PANDAS community. I were one of the Le Roy parents, I would be thrilled to have him evaluate my child.
6) On the other hand, I have to question any neurologist that diagnoses Conversion Disorder every 2-3 days (as Dr. Mechtler has stated in another interview). No wonder he believes PANDAS is "exceedingly rare", he is too busy misdiagnosing PANDAS kids (or patients other real organic causes to their symptoms) with Conversion Disorder. You also wonder about when he actually can't find a "stressor" that would supposedly cause the conversion. It certainly sounds like he is getting desparate, grasping at straws, when he starts making references to the "stress" of 9/11. Does he really think a 16-year-old cheerleader is sitting around "stressing" about 9/11?
7) You stated "as I understand it some of the kids that have stayed out of the media have gotten better, this exposes even more that this is definitely convergence disorder. " Gee whiz, has it ever occured to you that it is the girls who are NOT getting bettter would be more likely to speak up and go public with their stories in the first place?
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 3:18 PM
"If the parents and children just accept the diagnosis they will see improvements"
Anderson are you kidding me that the parents should just accept whatever BS they are fed?!!!!
PANDAS is real, when ever my son's strep titers are up his tics from Tourette's go thrrough the roof, don't even need the bloodwork, just have to see him struggle.
And when he was given his most recent vaccination, his tics increased tenfold.
So Glad EB is looking into this.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 5:26 PM
Chip Doc, I am interested in your perspective about the difference/similarities between "stimming" and tics?
Monday, February 06, 2012 1:25 AM
Just a suggestion, but has anyone thought that it might be from tampon use ?
maybe there are some toxins in the tampons ? Considering it's affected women ?
Sunday, February 26, 2012 1:57 AM
Has anyone looked into possible drug use as the cause? Some of the symptoms of drug use are stress related. For example paranoia, dimentia etc.. Most likely it is stress related and/or drug induced. Another possible theory could be something visual occuring in the environment or even sound related. Ive only read a little about this case but it would have to be something common to all. But I would definitelly begin with extensive drug testing to rule that out. Related to visual another theory I have could be exposure to some sort of strobe light pattern in conjunction with sound. Could be they all went to the same dance club where new software light pattern is being used? Either way its genetic, random, or induced. Doesnt seem genetic except for susceptability. Random would also include males. Induced seems most likely because it only affects mostly females. I would also definiely test the only male affected possibly for example in addition to drug testing I would also compare blood types of him and the other females involved. I agree with others on here that further testing should be done and by the way convergance disorder is a visual disorder mentioned here. Visual acuity could be the trigger but predisposition would have a common factor. In other words say strobe light was involved a trigger, but only affects females,predisposition. For an anomoly to be spread out even would mean that the anomoly exists everywhere. For an anomoly to occur in a certain area would mean anomoly is unique to that area. I think thats why so much the news attention to this. Another insight to all else is that culture travels from area to area for example a fad might begin in say LA but for example that fad wont reach say Loisiana for example much later. However if it is coincidence or random which is possible then only time will tell.