What types of potential pollutants, likely water-bourne, could cause eye- rolling and shoulder- twitching in youths? This problem has affected a number of youths in the same neighborhood with no explanation yet.
Are you thinking about the 'epidemic' of such behavioral tics that recently made the news in upstate New York, and that Erin Brockovich is helping to investigate?
If so, the National Institutes of Health and four neurologists who have examined the girls in question came to this conclusion:
"A mass psychogenic illness (more commonly known as “mass hysteria”) brought on by conversion disorder — so named because the patient’s brain and body has converted acute psychological stress into a physical manifestation."
This is not a brainless dismissal of their problem. It is significant that the afflicted girls have had unusual problems and stresses in their lives, hang out together, and have been constantly in touch with each other. Their doctors made them stop communicating with each other via texting and Facebook--and amazingly enough, they are getting much better since that happened.
You can read more about it at the New York Post's website. Type in 'What makes them tic?'
Possible contaminated stream/soil. First let me emphasize that this is very preliminary infomation gathered by parents and grandparents of youths and shared with an individual with some general knowledge of resource information, sources and potential causes, but has not been onsite. It is not a professional investigation but rather a preliminary compilation of general but limited informatiion regarding the problem. A concerned relative has communicated the problem to appropriate officials.
Symptoms: eye rolling, shoulder and neck twitching, vision disturbances, and chewing motions without food in mouth.
The common factor sems to be a watercourse that all have played in, in same neighborhood. Only one neighborhood youth who played in this location is known to have not exhibited these symptoms. Youths affected have included home schooled, those pulled out of the public school recently to be home schooled. and those attending the nearby public schools, One child now living overseas who resided in the area some time ago, and moved away before at least some others moved in has also shown same symptoms. The area has seen considerable medium scale development in the immediate vicinity in past 10-15 years including schools, athletic fields, library, additional single family subdivisions and commercial. These range from approximately 200 to 1,200 feet of the watercourse, are largely upstream in the same mini-drainage basin and are largely served by most of the same stormwater drainage facilities. A SUPERFUND SITE ( not on NPL list) that was due to a train derailment is within approximately one mile but is believed to be downstream or in a different mini-watershed and can possibly be ruled out. Another SUPERFUND SITE, a farm tract, is some 2 miles away and can possibly be ruled out. There are also a number of closed out storage facilities, UST's plus some others that have experienced spills, but their locations have not been identified.
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