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Teen Girls’ Medical Mystery Baffles Doctors [VIDEO]

Sean Locke, Getty Images

Everyone knows the term “monkey see, monkey do”, but can that be a legit diagnosis for a severe medical disease? According to doctors in New York, it can. In the fall of 2011, 12 girls from one school all mysteriously fell ill with Tourette’s-like symptoms such as vocal outbursts, nervous tics and more life-altering symptoms. But where did these symptoms come from and how did these 12 girls all become ill at once?

Doctors claim mass hysteria is the answer. LeRoy High School senior Thera Sanchez woke up from a nap one October day, and her life was never the same. She began to have uncontrollable body movements and jerks, nervous tics, stuttering, and verbal outbursts. As Sanchez and her family set out to determine what was wrong, she soon found out she was not the only one with this sudden ailment. Apparently, at least 12 other teenage girls from the same school all came down with the same symptoms. Granted, some worse than others and all at different calibers, but nonetheless it was completely unexplainable. Since it is baffling to the girls, their families, the school, and everyone involved, the girls set out to find an answer.

Two of the girls, Thera Sanchez and Katie Krautwurst along with their mothers, took their story to the Today Show with hopes that someone out there can give them an explanation.

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One day after that aired, Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, a neurologist in Amherst, N.Y., says the diagnosis is “conversion disorder,” or mass hysteria. Dr. Mechtler has been treating some of the girls and says that this is the only possible conclusion. The school has been tested from every environmental angle and that has been ruled out as a reason.

“It’s happened before, all around the world, in different parts of the world. It’s a rare phenomena. Physicians are intrigued by it,” Mechtler told TODAY on Wednesday. “The bottom line is these teenagers will get better.”

On the show Tuesday, psychologist and TODAY contributor Dr. Gail Saltz noted that just because the girls’ symptoms may be psychological in origin doesn’t make them any less real or painful. “That’s not faking it. They’re real symptoms,” Saltz continued. “They need a psychiatric or psychological treatment. Treatment does work.’’

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According to Thera Sanchez, the only things that these girls want are answers and their lives back. This is truly a baffling case, and the official diagnosis should be an interesting one. What do you think? Do you think that all this is, is a bad case of “monkey see, monkey do”? Or do you think there is some serious medical issue that doctors are missing?

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