Identification of Novel Proteins Involved in Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Southwestern Medical Center
Investigators Name
Bibb, James, PhD

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an extremely complex neuropsychiatric disorder the cause(s) of which are presently unknown. There is substantial evidence that the disorder stems from dysregulation of processes occurring in the basal ganglia regions of the brain. This part of the brain controls movement and integrates information concerning ordered consciousness, learning, and reward. The ability of the basal ganglia to accomplish its highly coordinated functions is facilitated by neurotransmitter activation of a multitude of interwoven biochemical cascades called signal transduction pathways that occur inside neurons. Our research approach has been to establish and conduct a careful screen at the subcellular level to identify proteins that mediate critical signaling events that could become dysregulated and thereby contribute to the etiology of TS. To facilitate this approach, we are utilizing sera from patients that have suffered recurrent episodes of the autoimmune disorder Sydenham’s chorea as well as from TS and OCD patients. Antibodies from these sera are being used to identify protein targets in the basal ganglia using a state-of-the-art proteomic analyses approach. Once a panel of target proteins has been identified, research efforts will be directed at characterizing their function in the basal ganglia with regard to signal transduction and how they contribute to the cause of TS. Hopefully, these newly discovered proteins and their functions will also serve as the basis for developing novel therapeutic treatments for TS and other neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. James Bibb, Ph.D., Dept. of Psychiatry, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX Award: $75,000 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2003-2004