, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 30, 2013

Mysterious hiccuping has school under scrutiny


Not everyone agreed with that diagnosis, however. According to various reports, Dr. Rosario Trifiletti of New Jersey said the diagnosis may be Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep, or PANDAS, a disorder of vocal and motor tics associated with a strep infection.

The DPH study on Ipswich dealt with incidents in 2004, in which two families reported to the Center for Environmental Health that their children and others had been diagnosed with tic disorders, a local doctor was treating several children, and an adult had also reported symptoms, though the adult case was ruled out.

In all, eight children, seven boys and a girl, were reported to have neuro tic disorders, and five boys’ medical records were reviewed by the study. Four were diagnosed at different times with a motor tic disorder and three had verbal tics, with tics getting worse according to stress or physical excitement. The study also looked at the town’s water source, PANDAS and Lyme disease. The state was asked to look into environmental factors due to swimming and boating in the Ipswich River.

The study found that “the prevalence of motor and vocal tics in Ipswich children does not appear to be high” and that “transient motor and vocal tic disorders are relatively common among children,” and can affect 5 to 24 percent of children, most often in kids ages 5 to 7.

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