Collaborative Projects in Genetic Linkage Analyses of Tourette Syndrome – 1st of 2 Awards

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
University of Rochester
Investigators Name
Kurlan, Roger, MD

These collaborative genetic linkage studies are an extension of both the family/genetic studies done at the Yale Child Study Center over the past six years as well as a continuation of the TSA funded genetic research projects carried out over the past two years at the University of Rochester. Results from these studies demonstrate that TS, chronic tics, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are related conditions. Data also suggest that this spectrum of TS behaviors is inherited as a dominant gene. We are now focusing on genetic linkage studies to try and locate and characterize the gene or genes for the TS spectrum. In addition to the large Canadian Mennonite group which now has 2,000 documented individuals, we are aware of additional kindred appropriate for analysis from Oregon, Michigan, and Ohio. One family is Dutch Catholic and another is Pennsylvania Dutch. These families provide a unique opportunity to follow the inheritance of TS and to assess the relationships between the disorder and a variety of genetic markers. We travel to areas of highest concentration of family members to diagnose the disorder and obtain blood samples for the genetic studies. Using modern recombinant DNA techniques, we then seek to identify unique segments of DNA which are transmitted from one generation to the next. Our analyses will examine whether there is an association between one segment of DNA and the spectrum of TS behaviors. If it can be demonstrated that the TS spectrum is always associated with a specific segment of DNA, then it will be possible to determine precisely where the gene for TS is located. Our present study is designed to collect the data necessary to perform the analyses needed to establish an association between TS and some segment of DNA. The more families that can be studied, the more likely that definitive findings will occur in our search for a gene marker for Tourette Syndrome. David Pauls, Ph.D. Dept. of Neurology Yale Child Study Center New Haven, CT Award: $15,000 Roger Kurlan, M.D. Univ. of Rochester Med. Ctr. Rochester, NY Award: $13,543 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 1986