LeROY, N.Y. -- The mystery illness now producing Tourette’s-like symptoms in a more than a dozen girls from upstate New York is also affecting a 36-year-old who is experiencing the same tics as the teens.
Nurse practitioner Marge Fitzsimmons, who has spent her whole life in LeRoy, N.Y., lives just a few miles from the school the teens attend.
“It started out with sudden head jerks in the middle of October,” Fitzsimmons told NBC News, the tics occasionally interfering with her ability to talk.
It got so bad she had to leave her job working with developmentally disabled patients until the tics subside. The motor tics wouldn't stop, and the vocal tics started, and I went to one of the bosses and said I have to go.”
She hasn't been back to work in two months. On a good day, Fitzsimmons said, the tics are sporadic. On a bad day, she cannot control them. Extensive testing – including a CAT scan and blood work – didn’t provide any answers, the same frustration experienced by the teens.