Longitudinal Objective Assessment of Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Med. Ctr.
Investigators Name
Pappert, Eric, MD

The aim of our project is to clarify what happens to people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) over time. Specifically, we plan to investigate to what extent motor and vocal tics change when children with TS reach adulthood. A clearer understanding of the natural history of this condition is important because many TS treatments involve potent drugs with potentially long-term side effects for a small number of patients. Decisions whether to use these medications on a short-term or long-term basis may be affected. Previous studies, including some conducted by our group, suggest that once reaching adulthood individuals will experience both fewer and less severe tics. However, the results of these earlier studies are limited by the fact that they involved small numbers of subjects, and the information collected was retrospective and not based on objective measures. In this investigation we plan to examine pairs of videotaped interviews of 45 TS patients who were previously examined and taped by us during childhood. This funding provides the opportunity to reexamine and videotape those same patients who, by now, have reached adulthood. We will compare the characteristics of motor and vocal tics in those adult subjects with standardized rating scales. This project will be the first to provide prospective and objective assessments of motor and vocal tics, over time, in a group of subjects with TS. The results will aid in the design and interpretation of future research that focuses on defining neurochemical, endocrinological and social mechanisms associated with age-related evolutions in TS characteristics. We believe these data will be particularly useful to those counselling and treating people with this condition. Eric J. Pappert, M.D., Glen T. Stebbins, Ph.D., Christopher G. Goetz, MD Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago, IL Award $25,000 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 1995