Neuroimaging studies of the Amygdala and Hippocampus in Tourette Syndrome

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Yale University
Investigators Name
Peterson, Bradley, MD

This project will examine the volumes and shapes of the amygdala and hippocampus in conditions related to Tourette syndrome (TS). The amygdala and hippocampus are important components of the limbic system, a system in the brain that contributes importantly to emotional and cognitive functions. Despite considerable clinical evidence that emotional regulation and cognitive functions can be impaired in some individuals who have TS, this system has received relatively little attention in previous imaging studies of TS-related conditions. We will therefore measure amygdala and hippocampus volumes in existing MRI scans from 480 children and adults who have either Tourette syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, or who are healthy comparison subjects. The subjects are well characterized in terms of diagnosis, family history, symptom severity, and neuropsychological functioning. We seek to determine whether the amygdala or hippocampus are structurally altered in particular disorders, and whether these alterations are associated with particular symptom profiles or cognitive disturbances. The study will therefore help us to better understand the role of the limbic system in the pathophysiology of these conditions. Bradley S. Peterson, M.D. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT Award: $75,000 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2001-2002