Synaptic Neurochemical Alterations in Tourette Syndrome: An In Vivo and Post-Mortem Analysis

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Johns Hopkins University
Investigators Name
Singer, Harvey, MD

This proposal has as its goal the testing of the hypothesis which states that TS symptoms may be related to increased sensitivity of brain dopamine receptors. The study is composed of three individual projects, each of which will utilize advanced research techniques to provide pertinent new data concerning the cause and treatment of this disorder. The first two projects are designed to determine Information on brain neurotransmitter systems In patients with Tourette Syndrome by using radiographic, clinical and spinal fluid analyses. Positron emission tomography (PET) Is a new technique which utilizes radioactive atoms to define neurophysiologic processes within the brain. A newly developed radiolabeled tracer, which binds to dopamine receptors, will permit us to quantify dopamine receptors and determine their distribution In TS patients and age-matched controls. In the second project, we will utilize the fact that drugs shown to be effective in treating TS symptomatology tend to work by correcting abnormal neurotransmitter systems. Hence, we will be studying the therapeutic effect of an investigational drug (Nitoman) and simultaneously analyzing its effect on brain chemicals by measuring their presence in spinal fluid. Since both these projects require volunteers, those patients with TS Interested in participating are encouraged to contact this investigator at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (301) 955-3805. The final project is a neurochemical and autoradiographic analysis of a post-mortem TS brain. In previous pathologic studies, designed only to visualize brain regions, no consistent clues concerning the mechanism of TS have been found. In contrast, our study utilizing advanced biochemical techniques will permit quantitative measurement of numerous neurotransmitters and their receptors. This neurochemical analysis of a post-mortem TS brain will add a new dimension to our knowledge about this syndrome. Harvey S. Singer, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Neurology The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD Award: $15,000 Sheldon Novick Memorial Grant Tourette Association of America, Inc.. – Research Grant Award 1984