Genetics of Tourette Syndrome- The Southern and Eastern Europe Initiative

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Democritus University of Thrace Greece
Investigators Name
Paschou, Peristera, PhD

The genetic background of Tourette Syndrome (TS) is complex and multiple genes, are believed to be implicated in causing the disorder. As with other complex disorders, uncovering the genetic component of TS will require the study of a very large number of families with TS. This project will bring together an international team of psychiatrists, psychologists and geneticists all working towards understanding the genetic basis of the disorder. Six countries from Southern and Eastern Europe (Greece, Hungary, Albania, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine) will participate. They are forming a network of scientists who will promote the study of TS genomics in the region and will also help raise public awareness about the disorder. In each participating country, blood samples will be collected from 50 individuals with TS and their parents (trios) and a biobank of DNA samples will be created. These samples will be added to an existing collection of 100 families that has already been collected in Hungary, bringing this sample to a total of 400 trios with TS. These samples will be analyzed to identify genetic variants that are associated with the susceptibility to the disorder. Findings will be related to recent results obtained from the Tourette Syndrome Association International Consortium for Genetics whole genome scan. Furthermore, candidate genes in the dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways that are thought to influence TS etiology will be investigated (e.g. MAO-A, DAT1 and TPH2). Any positive findings will be followed by fine mapping of the implicated regions of the genome. Aiming to reveal the causes of TS and ultimately leading to improved treatment of the disorder, this study will create an important resource for the study of TS genetics around the world. Moreover, this project will plant the seeds for the formation of an international team of scientists in Southern and Eastern Europe who, through collaboration, will join in their efforts to increase an understanding of TS and at the same time educate both the public and professionals about the disorder. Peristera Paschou, Ph.D. Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupoli, Greece Award: $74,655 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2008-2009