Sammy Maloney's obsessive compulsive behaviour, thought to be Tourette's, was cured by antibiotics.

Sammy was transformed overnight from a sunny, bright boy (described by one teacher as the purest math mind the school had ever seen) into an antisocial stranger so dominated by obsessions, compulsions, and rules that daily life became impossible.

Sammy's descent into mental illness was diagnosed as severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Tourette's and a number of other ailments, all promising a lifetime of disability; it wasn't until a family acquaintance, whose son exhibited the same symptoms for 10 years, urged Maloney to have Sammy tested for Strep that they learned his condition was treatable.

Antibiotics ended two torturous years for the family, and Sammy's gains came as rapidly as the symptoms had overtaken him.

Some strange behaviours, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, may be triggered by infections, and the immune system may even shape our basic personalities, such as how anxious or impulsive we are.

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