Tourette’s goes viral
blog by S.J. Velasquez • February 06, 2012 @ 10:05am
One UB professor of neurology says Facebook and YouTube are causing Tourette’s-like symptoms to go viral—yeah, in an “internet sensation” kind of way.
David Lichter specializes in the study of movement disorders, Tourette’s and Parkinson’s. After watching the videos uploading by some of the nearly 20 LeRoy students affected by the mysterious twitching disorder, he told Discovery News (via MSNBC):
“It’s remarkable to see how one individual posts something, and then the next person posts something—not only are the movements bizarre and not consistent with known movement disorders, but it’s the same kind of movements,” adding, “This mimicry goes on with Facebook or YouTube exposure.”
Conversion disorder, which many neurological professionals have agreed to be the cause of the Tourette’s-like tic, is only being spread further with the influence of social media. The MSNBC article points out that one boy from the school is now displaying twitching symptoms, as is a woman from the same town.
Conversion disorder is just one hypothesized cause for the tic. Others are linking the twitching to HPV vaccinations, hydrofracking and the impending “end of times.” Maybe the Mayans were right.
Photo from NBC / Today Show.