Tick Disorder

Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 3:27pm

Girl made famous with non-stop sneezing has a new disorder to deal with.

The sneezing girl is back. Lauren Johnson of Chesapeake made national headlines in 2009 when she couldn't stop sneezing.

Several months later doctors made a controversial diagnois, treated her and the sneezing stopped.

Now she has a new facial tick and her sister is sick too.
Lauren has a new facial tick, an eye twitch.

It's not constant like the tick that mimicked a sneeze, this one comes and goes.

This is how Lauren Johnson prefers to spend her time, far away from tv cameras and talk of the disorder called PANDAS.

She would very much like to forget the auto immune disorder that started all of this, but she can't. She stopped sneezing months ago, but now her eye twitches.

Lauren says "it happens evryonce in awhile i notice its annoying when i'm trying to do work or somethig."

We didn't see it twitching today, but we heard her sister is now showing other signs of PANDAS: Anxiety and Obsessive compulsive behavior.

Lauren's sister says "I always like to clean and like go over what she does, i just like everything to be perfect."

Lynn Johnson says "we take everyday for what its worth and hope its a good day and not a bad day."

Mom Lynn is consumed with it. She started a non profit organization with the doctor treating her daughters and she wants the world to know her family's fight is just one of many.

Lynn says "we've had over 1,600 families in 12 moths reach out to us."

Like the Mastrangelo family of Pennsylvania who's fun loving son suddenly became a mumbling mess holding his head and tellling it to stop. The Austin's whose son, at age 3, suddenly turned into a raging obsessive compulsive child." The Tapia's whose son woke one morning with a strange blink. It goes on and on.

Dr. Denis Bouboulis says "I am now seeing children frm all over the world not just the United sStates I have patient from Austrailia, Singapore, Dubai."

Dr. Denis Bouboulis says most children have strep or a respiratory infection just before the onset of symptoms.

Children are at higher risk when their parents have autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and thyroid disease and he says there is a higher incidence in siblings, like the Johnson's.

The sisters symptoms are under control, but another infection could wake the ticks at any time.

So as much as she wants to escape, Lauren will continue to share her story until there is a cure.

Dr. Bouboulis estimates up to 5% of all children could have PANDAS and be misdiagnosed.

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