Neural Correlates of Behavior Therapy in Tourette Syndrome

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Harvard Medical School
Investigators Name
Deckersbach, Thilo, PhD

This functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study investigates the functional neuroanatomy associated with changes in tic severity in people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) following a behavioral treatment called Habit Reversal (HRT). Patients with TS who complete HRT as part of the ongoing multi-site NIMH funded study Adult-Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics study (A-CBIT) will have the opportunity to participate in fMRI scanning. Several controlled studies have shown that HRT has specific tic inhibiting effects. Subjects will come from the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Yale Child Study Center A-CBIT recruitment sites. Specifically, 20 people with TS and 10 unaffected people will complete two response inhibition paradigms (tasks) in conjunction with fMRI both before and after HRT. The two paradigms to be used are the Visuospatial Priming Paradigm (VSP) and the Multi-Source Interference Task (MSIT). These paradigms probe a core network of predominantly frontal brain regions that are believed to be aberrant in people with TS. We hypothesize that before HRT, patients with TS will show abnormalities in activation and that the degree of abnormal activation will predict the magnitude of response to HRT treatment. In addition we hypothesize that changes in the fMRI will be seen in HRT responders but not in HRT non-responders. Thilo Deckersbach, Ph.D., Sabine Wilhelm, Ph.D. Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts Award: $61,200 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2006-2007