LEROY, NY - A doctor from New Jersey is in LeRoy to examine several of the Junior-Senior High School students, who abruptly developed tics during the school year.
The out-of-town neurological expert was invited by the students' parents, some of whom are not satisfied with the diagnosis of other doctors. The doctor met with the teens and their families at a non-disclosed location. They were trying to avoid all of the publicity that has descended on the small Genesee County town in recent weeks.
Since the beginning of the school year, approximately 15 students at LeRoy Junior-Senior High School, all but one of which are girls, have developed mysterious tics.
Local neurologists have diagnosed them with "conversion disorder". That essentially means that the teens have somehow converted severe stress into physical symptoms. The doctors determined that a large number of them developed these symptoms through a form of mass hysteria.
The doctors do not believe the symptoms are being caused by environmental factors.
A New Jersey neurologist named Dr. Rosario Trifiletti referred to that diagnosis as "garbage". Sunday, he was in LeRoy, meeting with several of the families as a group, then, according to one parent, he individually examined the students.
Channel 2's Aaron Saykin spoke with Jim Dupont, a parent of one of the effected students, Sunday evening after the meeting.
DUPONT: "We're optimistic. It's certainly a generous offer and, obviously, in a situation like ours, sometimes you can find something, and sometimes you have to roll other things out, so that's the process. "
REPORTER: "Ultimately, if his testing and his thorough look at all of the kids who are involved doesn't turn up anything, do you think, at that point, you'll be able to say, maybe, it is conversion disorder?"
DUPONT: "I think the chances of what you're saying are very slim. But, the best I could answer that is, if in fact, after all of the time and all of the tests, that that's what it was, then at least us, as parents, will have known that we have done everything we could to ensure the health of our children."
Dr. Trifiletti believes the students may be suffering from a rare auto-immune disorder possibly caused by an infection.
The students also have the help of famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who has sent a team to collect environmental samples near the site of the school.
According to one of the parents. Dr. Trifiletti will be collecting data from blood work done on participating students. They expect him back in LeRoy in a couple of weeks.