Indentification of a Tourette Syndrome Association Gene in Mice (2nd year)

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Albert Einstein
Investigators Name
Hebert, Jean, PhD

The cause of Tourette Syndrome (TS) is not understood. While genetic factors are known to predispose some individuals to TS, the actual genes involved have not yet been identified. Animal models of human disorders can greatly accelerate our understanding of the disorder and can provide avenues for developing effective therapies. Our studies will focus on a mutant mouse strain that displays head tics and obsessive-compulsive like movements. With our mutant mice, we propose to identify the gene that causes the tics and determine whether the same gene is involved in human cases of TS. There is reason to believe that it may be, since other studies have shown that a similar region of a human chromosome is associated with TS. Identification of a mutant gene that causes TS could enable us to predict which parts of the brain are affected, determine whether TS is a developmental anomaly and provide a physiological explanation of the disorder. Perhaps even more exciting is that identification of a gene may reveal new targets for drug therapy and lead to more effective therapies. Jean M. H̩bert, Ph.D., Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY Award: $75,000 (2nd year) Commentary: Despite many years of research, scientists have not been able to identify the gene changes that cause TS. Drs. H̩bert and Khodakhah have in their laboratory several mice that have tic-like movements and in this study they will try to identify which genes are responsible for causing these movements. If they are successful, Drs. H̩bert and Khodakhah will be able to look for similar genetic changes in people with TS. Finding the genes involved in TS will help us to better understand the biological cause of the disorder and may help us to develop medicines that work better than the ones currently being prescribed. This Award is funded by Ralph Ochsman and the Ochsman Foundation. Tourette Association of America Inc. РResearch Grant Award 2009-2010