Friday, February 3, 2012

Could an infection be behind mysterious Tourette's-like syndrome affecting teenagers?

Frantic parents of the now 15 teens who have been showcasing worrying Tourette-like symptoms are looking for answers as to what exactly is making their children sick.

Over the weekend, lawyer Erin Brockivich hypothesized that environmental toxins may be to blame, though officials have reportedly stonewalled her up to this point.

Researchers are now looking into a new explanation – that infections caused by bacteria or viruses can cause also infect the brain, leading to onsets of Tourette’s and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Fifteen of the affected go to Le Roy High School in Genesee County, New York State. Only one boy has been affected, the other 14 sufferers are girls.

According to the Scientific American, some experts now believe that the upstate New York teens may have paediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome, or PANS.

The disease, once called PANDAS (paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection), first manifested in children who developed OCD after having a bout of strep throat. Read More