For the first time, an adult is coming forward showing the same symptoms as a group of students in Upstate New York who are suffering from Tourette-like outbursts.
Marge Fitzsimmons, 36, says her tics began in October, around the same time as the teens. She was diagnosed with conversion disorder brought on by stress -- in her case, childhood trauma.
“My doctor said 'Your stress level is here,'” she said as she lifted her arm above her head. “So everything that you've ever suppressed erupted like a volcano.”
Some, like the team led by Erin Brockovich think it's possible there could be an environmental link -- they are investigating a 1970s train derailment that spilled the toxic industrial solvent TCE.
Fitzsimmons said the derailment site is close to a quarry and pond where she spent time as a teenager.
“We used to hang out in the quarry -- used to do what teenagers do when you get a group together,” she said.
Fitzsimmons was asked by HLN correspondent Jim Spellman if she thought that site or any environmental factor may have contributed to her condition.
“At this point, I have to have faith in my doctors,” she said. “All the lab work and CAT scans and MRIs that I had done have come back within range -- within the normal range limits. So, if it ends up being environmental, then does that mean that I don't have hope of getting better? These are thoughts that go through my head.”
Fitzsimmons continues to believe that conversion disorder is what's behind this, but keeps an open mind as the environmental investigation continues.
Spellman told Dr. Drew, “When we spoke of the possibility of there being an environmental cause -- that's when her tic got worse. It is something that concerns her. She fears maybe there is a permanent change to her physiology somehow.”
Dr. Drew responded, “Conversion disorders get better. Toxic injuries to the brain do not. So from a prognostic standpoint, it might be better if this ends up being conversion, at least, for most of these kids and this woman particularly.”
To follow every update in this developing story, don't miss "Dr. Drew" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on HLN and follow on Twitter @DrDrewHLN.