Tourette Syndrome

For women, Tourette’s syndrome means added burdens - Para las mujeres, el síndrome de Tourette significa una carga adicional.

Sara Henya’s art is her music, and her instrument is the harp. She makes playing look easy, effortless. Her fingers move like cascading water: fluid, graceful, sure. But when her fingers are still, well, that’s a different story. Her brain barks orders her body is all but helpless to ignore. She may hit herself in the face or on the chest. Maybe she will need to hit her elbows hard against the back of a chair. And then there are the sounds. They erupt out of her.
El arte de Sara Henya es su música y su instrumento es el arpa. Ella hace que el juego parezca fácil, sin esfuerzo. Sus dedos se mueven como agua en cascada: fluidos, gráciles, seguros. Pero cuando sus dedos están quietos, bueno, esa es una historia diferente. Su cerebro ladra ordena que su cuerpo está casi incapaz de ignorarlo. Puede golpearse en la cara o en el pecho. Tal vez deba golpear los codos con fuerza contra el respaldo de una silla. Y luego están los sonidos. Ellos salen de ella.
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Children Suffering from Tics Can be Helped by Both Group and Individual Therapy

Therapy against tics works, and both group and individual treatment are suitable methods to achieve a good effect. This is the conclusion reached by a group of Danish researchers after comparing the effect of different types of tics training based on a new Danish manual. This means that therapists in future can plan a much better course of treatment for those children who experience a very difficult life with tics. One of the researchers behind the study, Judith Becker Nissen, who is associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and a consultant at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Risskov under the Central Denmark Region, explains: "The study confirms that children and young people with tics can be effectively treated by training in accordance with the strategies that are described in the manual we have developed. This treatment can take place both in groups and individually. This means that many more children and young people can be offered relevant treatment, which is very welcome news for the affected families," says Judith Becker Nissen about the research that has been published in the scientific journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
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When is Tourtette Syndrome actually Autism

NASAT reports that "More than one in five children with Tourette syndrome also tests positive for autism, a new study shows. But it's unlikely that so many children actually have both disorders. What's more probable is that Tourette's symptoms often mimic or seem quite similar to those of autism, the researchers noted. "Our results suggest that although autism diagnoses were higher in individuals with Tourette's, some of the increase may be due to autism-like symptoms, especially repetitive behaviors that are more strongly related to obsessive-compulsive disorder," said study first author Sabrina Darrow, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Tourette's affects between one and 10 in 1,000 children, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It is more common in males, and typical tics include repetitive throat-clearing, blinking or grimacing."
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Gene changes may increase risk of Tourette syndrome

NIH reports that "Researchers identified changes in two genes that increase the risk of developing Tourette syndrome. The results suggest new targets to study for potential treatments."
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Tourette's syndrome -- the alchemy of chaos: Jess Thom at TEDxAlbertopolis

Find out how Jess Thom is "changing the world one tic at a time" in this inspiring TEDx talk. Thom has Tourette's Syndrome and says 'biscuit' sixteen times a minute. A visual artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Art, she founded Touretteshero to celebrate the humour that can emerge from Tourette's, challenge misconceptions about the syndrome and encourage people to familiarise themselves with the creative opportunities it presents. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading

URMC will expand care for individuals with Tourette Syndrome

Patti Singer, Democrat and Chronicle staff writer, reports that "Families dealing with Tourette syndrome will have what amounts to an all-star team to coordinate care as the University of Rochester Medical Center joins a consortium to treat tic disorders. The Tourette clinic at URMC will be partnering with three downstate hospitals to form a center of excellence, as designated by the national Tourette Syndrome Association. The group is one of 10 designated centers of excellence in the nation. Of those, the URMC group is one of three that is receiving up to $50,000 a year for three years from the organization to improve care for people living with the disorder."
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Tourette Syndrome: Research Update

Information from the 2012 Tourette Syndrome Association National Conference held in Arlington Virginia. This Research Update includes University of Rochester neurologist, Dr. Jonathan Mink, MD, PhD; Tamara Hershey, PhD; and Domenico Servello, MD, PhD.
Click this link to watch the video of the talk.

New prenatal risk factors for Tourette syndrome and tic disorders identified

In a prospective study of 6090 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, researchers found that maternal alcohol and cannabis use, inadequate maternal weight gain and being first born were each significantly associated with the development of Tourette syndrome or Tourette syndrome/chronic tic disorder in offspring by the age of 13 or 14 years. A total of 50 teens developed Tourette syndrome, and 72 developed chronic tic disorders. The most significant risk factor for development of the disorders was inadequate maternal weight gain.
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Targeted Behavioral Therapy can effectively control tics in adults with Tourette Syndrome

A comprehensive behavioral intervention is more effective than supportive therapy and education in helping adults control the tics associated with Tourette syndrome, according to an NIMH-funded study published in the August 2012 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study follows a previous study involving children with the disorder, which showed similar results.
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Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics effective in reducing tics in adults

Tics in Tourette syndrome begin in childhood, peak in early adolescence, and often decrease by early adulthood. However, some adult patients continue to have impairing tics. Medications for tics are often effective but can cause adverse effects. This study found that the use of a new specific behavior therapy "Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics, or CBIT) was effective in decreasing the severity of tics in adults. The study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry 2012.
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Click here to go the journal article

Co-occurring ADHD may be at the root of attention problems in children with Tourette syndrome

Co-occurring attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at the root of attention problems in children with Tourette syndrome (TS), according to NIMH-funded researchers. Their findings also support the theory that children with TS develop different patterns of brain activity in order to function at the same level as children without TS. The study was published in the November 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
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Attention problems in Tourettes due to comorbid ADHD

A new study suggests that the Attention problems seen in children with Tourette Syndrome are most likely due to comorbid ADHD rather that to the Tourette Syndrome. The study also suggested that children with Tourette Syndrome develop a response inhibition compensatory neural strategies.
To read more about the study click on this link.

Tourette Syndrome update on treatment

A new article by Dr. Roger Kurlan published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides a comprehensive overview for the treatment of Tourette Syndrome.
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Anxiety/Panic Disorder most severe associated disorder in Tourette Syndrome

New Research shows that anxiety/panic disorder is the most functionally disabling associated disorder in adults with Tourette's syndrome (TS), according to research presented at the Movement Disorder Society 14th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Treating tics through CBIT

New Research finds that Behavioral Intervention can effectively control Tics in many children with Tourette Syndrome. The research found that comprehensive behavioral therapy was more effective than basic supportive therapy and education in helping children with Tourette syndrome manage their tics. The study was published May 19, 2010, in a special issue of the Journal of the American Medication Association dedicated to mental health. The study tested the effectiveness of a Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), a therapy based on habit reversal training that includes two concepts—tic-awareness and competing-response training. Tic-awareness training teaches the child how to self-monitor for early signs that a tic is about to occur. Competing-response training teaches the child how to engage in a voluntary behavior designed to be physically incompatible with the impending tic, thereby disrupting the cycle and decreasing the tic. For example, a child with vocal tics who blurts out words or sounds inappropriately may be taught slow rhythmic breathing techniques to manage the urge to vocalize. The study also involved teaching parents how to respond to their child's tics.
To hear a radio interview with the author of the study click on this link.

Deep Brain Stimulation Reduces Tic Severity in Intractable Tourette Syndrome

New Study finds that Deep Brain Stimulation reduces Tic Severity in Intractable Tourette Syndrome. Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure in which an electrode is placed in the brain at the site where the tics originate. This is connected to a surgically implanted device(about the size of a watch). This provides ongoing stimulation of that brain tissue that overrides the faulty electric signals that otherwise would produce the tics.

Information on Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome is characterized by multiple motor tics and one or more vocal tic. A tic is a sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic, stereotyped motor movement or vocalization. They may be simple involving only a few movements, such as an eye blink, or a throat clearing noise) or complex (involving multiple muscle movements or recurrent words or phrases). In Tourette syndrome the tics may appear simultaneously or at different periods during the illness. The tics may occur many times a day, recurrently throughout a period of more than 1 year). There is a wealth of information on Tic disorders available in books and on the internet. Some excellent resources include but are not limited to Children with Tourette Syndrome A Parent's Guide, edited by Tracy Haerle (1992) Woodbine House, Tictionary: A reference guide to the world of Tourette Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for Parents and Professionals (2003) by Becky Ottinger, Autism Asperger Syndrome Publishing Company Kansas, and Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators (2001) by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. Information on the internet can be found at the National Tourette Syndrome Association.

NICHCY Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet.
Click this link to read go to the NICHCY page.
Click this link to download a pdf of the Fact Sheet.

© Copyright, all rights reserved Daniel J. DeMarle, Ph.D. 2014