Erin Brockovich, who’s life was made into a film starring Julia Roberts has announced she’ll be looking into an outbreak of
Tourette’s-like symptoms among a group of high school students in
western New York, to see if they have environmental causes.
14 girls and 1 boy at Le Roy High School have developed strange symptoms
since last fall, including verbal outbursts and debilitating physical twitches. The New York Department of Health reportedly found no signs of environmental causes or infectious agents. A number of experts have labeled this event as a type of conversion disorder, in which stress can cause a host of physical symptoms.
The event has also been labeled as mass hysteria, a la the symptoms displayed by a number of young girls during the Salem Witch Trials. Brockovich mentioned a chemical spill that happened not far from the school four decades ago and says she’ll investigate to see if it’s the cause or if it can be ruled out.