A Cholecystikinin Hypothesis of Tourette Syndrome

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Texas Tech University
Investigators Name
Kulmaka, Henrik, PhD
Each of the nerve cells in the brain contains one or more chemicals, called neurotransmitters, which it uses to communicate with other cells. Many studies have tried to map the distribution of such neurotransmitters within the brain. It is thought that such mapping will produce a wiring diagram of the brain, which will help us understand how this structure works. Recently, it has been shown that many such neurotransmitters can Interact to change the way messages are transmitted in the brain. In neurological diseases, one or more of these chemicals may be deficient, so messages become garbled. In Tourette Syndrome, it is thought that the neurotransmitter dopamine Is too active. For this reason, the drug haloperidol (Haldol) is used to treat this disease. Haloperidol acts to stop the actions of dopamine. Another brain neurotransmitter, cholecystokinin (CCK), also has been shown to stop some of the actions of dopamine in the brain. In this study, I will look at the interactions between CCK and dopamine in the brain of the laboratory rat. The hope Is to develop an animal model of Tourette Syndrome based on depletions of CCK in the brain. If CCK is found to modify the excess actions of dopamine in this model, then perhaps CCK or something similar might be used in the future to treat Tourette Syndrome. Henrik K. Kulmala, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Medical and Surgical Neurology Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX Award: $13,571   Tourette Association of America, Inc. – Research Grant Award 1984