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Dr. Drew

Driven by current events, "Dr. Drew" on HLN focuses on the human - and human behavior - at the center of the story.

Girls cured in New York Medical Mystery?

  • Girl affected by symptoms says, 'I think everyone is getting better'
  • Mother of daughter affected hears that more people are having symptoms

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Girls cured in New York Medical Mystery?

What's been going on in Le Roy, New York in the past month?  

That's the area where 12 teenage girls and others started spontaneously stuttering, twitching and ticking uncontrollably around the same time last fall. Some were plagued by verbal outbursts. There were even seizure-type instances. A doctor treating some of the girls says they suffered from conversion disorder -- a very real condition resulting from trauma or stress. Some in town disputed the diagnosis, believing that it was something else -- possibly an environmental cause.

Meanwhile, another potential reason for the tics is PANDAS; an abbreviation for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. Those treated with antibiotics for this seem to be showing improvement. Most medical experts believe the symptoms should improve and eventually go away.

Lana Clark told Dr. Drew Thursday night that her daughter, Lauren Scalzo, who has been taking antibiotics after suffering from the symptoms, is “doing really well … less headaches, stomachaches, no ticking, and she's been more energetic.”

Scalzo added, “I think everyone is getting better.”

However, Dr. Laszlo Mechtler still maintains his diagnosis of conversion disorder.

“As you know, we have not seen all the patients," he said. "We've seen the majority of the patients. Right now, we're actively seeing about 11 of these young ladies, and as you well know, one boy. We feel that the diagnosis is a form of conversion disorder. And as you (Dr. Drew) stated before -- mass psychogenic illness which is basically conversion disorder occurring in a group of individuals that are in a small area.”

Mechtler added, “The good news is, no matter what the treatment has been, most of these young ladies are improving. In fact, of the 11 patients are still with us -- eight are improving and three are back to normal."

Clark later noted that she had heard Thursday “that there are more kids that are showing the symptoms."

She added, "And, you know, I think we need to figure out actually what's caused it ... I`m a little bit concerned on how things will be when she (Lauren) finishes the antibiotics.”

Do you think treating the those affected with antibiotics had any effect on this progress we're seeing now? Hear what Dr. Drew and psychiatrist Dr. John Sharp have to say in the video clip above.

Watch Dr. Drew weeknights at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on HLN and follow the show on Twitter @DrDrewHLN.

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Dr. Drew: Possible break in medical mystery
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