Scientific Advances in Tourette Syndrome Research and Treatment

Yesterday, the Tourette Association of America in collaboration with the Congressional Tourette Syndrome Caucus held a briefing on Capitol Hill titled Scientific Advances in Tourette Syndrome Research and Treatment. Leading Doctors and Researchers in the field of Tourette Syndrome (TS) presented their recent findings on genetics, autism and Tics, neuroimaging and Comprehensive Intervention for Tics. These recent findings illustrate the importance of the continued funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research programs. The discovery of two genetic constructs that can identify TS in 1-2% of the TS population and the discovery of structural differences in the brains of TS patients via neuroimaging are groundbreaking and continued research will assist in both the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tourette Syndrome Public Health, Education and Research Program remains critically important to educate not only the public and educators on Tourette Syndrome, but also to train doctors and medical professionals on how to better diagnose TS and how to utilize and conduct Comprehensive Behavior Intervention for Tics as a first line medicine-free treatment. Presenters included: John Miller, President, Tourette Association of America; Doug Woods, PhD, Marquette University; Carol Mathews, M.D., McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida School of Medicine; and, Kevin Black, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine. The briefing was a widely attended event and attendees included TAA National Board Member Randi Zemsky, representatives from other patient groups, coalitions and societies in the health/mental health arena and Congressional staff from the House and Senate.