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Hope Catalyzes Progress… but not before the data comes in!

For families facing Tourette Syndrome, hope springs eternal. Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder that causes those affected to make involuntary movements and sounds call “tics.” TS tends to appear in childhood, and it is often at its most severe during the adolescent years.  Tics can be debilitating, painful, emotionally distressing and socially isolating. It’s not an easy journey, especially because there is no known cure for Tourette Syndrome and no proven cause.

The unknowns not only fuel hope, but they also catalyze progress. Because TS presents differently across those affected, the scientific and research community has tested many theories and treatments – some pharmacological and some not. In fact, one of the most promising developments in the last ten years has been the development and successful implementation of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics or CBIT.  CBIT is a type of behavioral therapy that was developed specifically to treat Tourette and Tic Disorders.  The Tourette Association of America’s Behavioral Science Consortium completed 2 clinical trials in 20101 and 20122 that showed CBIT to be a safe and effective treatment for TS.

The effectiveness of CBIT has broadened the horizons to explore other non-pharmacological treatments for Tourette.  Among these new treatments is a Tourette Association funded trial investigating the feasibility of an oral orthotic (mouthpiece) for reducing the severity of tics.  This trial is being carried out under the supervision of principal investigator John T. Walkup at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center.  The trail is close to completing it’s recruitment phase and should have some preliminary data available in the near future.  In compliance with FDA regulations for clinical trials, this study is listed on Clinicaltrial.gov.  To view the listing for this study, click here

With our 40 year history of working with families, patients, doctors and researchers, the Tourette Association is acutely sensitive of families’ desires for immediate and effective treatments. As excited as we all are for new development, the Tourette Association of America takes seriously its commitment to providing the Tourette Community with the most up to date information based on properly conducted scientific research. Its the data that drives the dissemination.

For more information about this study or treatment in general, please contact us.


1Piacentini, J. et al. (2010). Jama, 303(19): 1929-37

2Wilhelm, S., et al. (2012). Arch Gen Psychiatry, 69(8): 795-803