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The M.D., Dr. Laszlo Mechtler from the Dent Neurologic Institute, calmly (I would say "patiently", but a hint of impatience seems to be coming through!) explains that there is no mystery. His patients have been diagnosed with cases of a Conversion Disorder, (formerly known as "hysteria"). It rarely appears as "mass hysteriamass hysteria", but it is a known condition, especially amongst impressionable females.

The school, being an innocent party coming under fire, have retreated, and paid for independent inspectors, in what appears to be an attempt to defend against criticism and cover their backs. The inspectors conclude, exactly as the doctor's diagnosis would have predicted, there is no environmental issues at the school.

The M.D., Dr. Laszlo Mechtler from the Dent Neurologic Institute, calmly (I would say "patiently", but a hint of impatience seems to be coming through!) explains that there is no mystery. His patients have been diagnosed with cases of a Conversion Disorder, (formerly known as "hysteria"). It rarely appears as "mass hysteria", but it is a known condition, especially amongst impressionable females.

The school, an innocent party coming under fire, have retreated, and paid for independent inspectors, in what appears to be an attempt to defend against criticism and cover their backs. The inspectors conclude, exactly as the doctor's diagnosis would have predicted, there is no environmental issues at the school.

The M.D., Dr. Laszlo Mechtler from the Dent Neurologic Institute, calmly (I would say "patiently", but a hint of impatience seems to be coming through!) explains that there is no mystery. His patients have been diagnosed with cases of a Conversion Disorder, (formerly known as "hysteria"). It rarely appears as "mass hysteria", but it is a known condition, especially amongst impressionable females.

The school, being an innocent party coming under fire, have retreated, and paid for independent inspectors, in what appears to be an attempt to defend against criticism and cover their backs. The inspectors conclude, exactly as the doctor's diagnosis would have predicted, there is no environmental issues at the school.

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Discover Magazine has an article by Dr Vaughan Bell that elaborates further about the disease that has been diagnosed.


Discover Magazine has an article by Dr Vaughan Bell that elaborates further about the disease that has been diagnosed.

3 Added coda, defending the diagnosis against the Nature News article.
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@KonradRudolph has identified a recent article in Nature News that claims the outbreak "confounds experts". Unfortunately, it fails to name who those experts are. It claims "the LeRoy situation doesn’t fit the diagnosis very well, say sceptics", without explaining who those skeptics are or how they sourced their information.

Meanwhile, an earlier article in the Buffalo News actually interviews many of the experts involved in the case:

But the many physicians who have consulted, examined, tested and diagnosed these students -- rendering first, second and third opinions -- don't think the disease is a mystery at all. And they aren't baffled.

They've come to the same conclusion: These students suffer from a real physical condition that has an underlying psychological cause. Individually, they suffer from conversion disorder, and collectively, they suffer from mass psychogenic illness, also commonly referred to as mass hysteria.

It goes on to explain how the matter was escalated, with different levels of the health system being consulted, and extensive tests run.

To be fair, there is one doctor who disagrees:

A number of them are having their children evaluated this weekend by Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a New Jersey-based child neurologist in private practice, and the only physician to have publicly disputed the conversion disorder diagnosis as "garbage" on WGRZ-TV.

Dr Trifiletti is an expert in a controversial maybe-disease PANDAS, and suspects that this is the cause. The legitimacy of PANDAS as a diagnosis would probably make an excellent separate Skeptics.SE question.

The school continues to be under fire, trying to manage the levels of speculation, misinformation and even trespassing of the local and national media.


@KonradRudolph has identified a recent article in Nature News that claims the outbreak "confounds experts". Unfortunately, it fails to name who those experts are. It claims "the LeRoy situation doesn’t fit the diagnosis very well, say sceptics", without explaining who those skeptics are or how they sourced their information.

Meanwhile, an earlier article in the Buffalo News actually interviews many of the experts involved in the case:

But the many physicians who have consulted, examined, tested and diagnosed these students -- rendering first, second and third opinions -- don't think the disease is a mystery at all. And they aren't baffled.

They've come to the same conclusion: These students suffer from a real physical condition that has an underlying psychological cause. Individually, they suffer from conversion disorder, and collectively, they suffer from mass psychogenic illness, also commonly referred to as mass hysteria.

It goes on to explain how the matter was escalated, with different levels of the health system being consulted, and extensive tests run.

To be fair, there is one doctor who disagrees:

A number of them are having their children evaluated this weekend by Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a New Jersey-based child neurologist in private practice, and the only physician to have publicly disputed the conversion disorder diagnosis as "garbage" on WGRZ-TV.

Dr Trifiletti is an expert in a controversial maybe-disease PANDAS, and suspects that this is the cause. The legitimacy of PANDAS as a diagnosis would probably make an excellent separate Skeptics.SE question.

The school continues to be under fire, trying to manage the levels of speculation, misinformation and even trespassing of the local and national media.

2 Copy-editing to clarify and fix minor errors.
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