Biofeedback Treatment for TS: Preliminary Randomized Controlled Study

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
University of Essex UK
Investigators Name
Nagai, Yoko, PhD

The treatment of Tourette Syndrome (TS) has advanced greatly over the last decade due to the development of new medications. Nevertheless, a substantial number of people with TS remain drug resistant, and despite trials with multiple medications, they realize little or no improvement. Biofeedback is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that teaches a person how to increase awareness and control of automatic bodily processes. In our study, we will use a galvanic skin response (GSR: related to sweating) as a physiological parameter. Enabling an awareness of bodily responses (which are normally hidden from conscious appraisal or control) is the first step in teaching techniques to change these responses at will. Previously we conducted a small pilot study to look at the effect of biofeedback on tics in people with TS. The results were promising, and in this study we will investigate further the possible use of biofeedback as a treatment method for reducing the number of tics in patients with TS. Successful application of biofeedback treatment in the current clinical trial may offer a non-pharmacological means of symptom reduction for some people with TS. Yoko Nagai, Ph.D. University of Essex, Colchester, UK Mary Robertson, M.D. University College London, London, UK Hugo Critchley, M.D., Ph.D. University College London, London, UK Eileen Joyce, Ph.D. University College London London, UK Award: $74,906 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2007-2008