Tourette Syndrome Genetics: The Southern and Eastern Europe Initiative

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Democritus University of Thrace Greece
Investigators Name
Paschou, Peristera, PhD

As with other complex disorders, uncovering the genetic component of TS will require the study of a large number of families. This project will bring together an international team of medical and scientific professionals who will work together to shed light on the genetic basis of the disorder. Seven countries from Southern and Eastern Europe (Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Albania, Russia, and the Ukraine) will participate by forming a network of scientists who will promote the study of TS genomics and raise public awareness about the disorder. In each participating country, DNA samples will be collected from individuals with TS and their parents (trios). This biobank of samples will constitute a valuable resource for the study of TS genetics. With first year funding, DNA samples from 200 families were collected and added to an existing collection of 100 trios from Hungary. Our goal is to collect a total of 600 trios from all participating countries. These samples will be studied for the identification of genetic variants for TS susceptibility and compared with variants recently identified by the TSA International Consortium for Genetics. A parallel goal of this study is to standardize the criteria used for TS diagnosis and assessment and to harmonize clinical practices for TS in participating countries. Tools used for TS diagnosis and detailed assessment have been translated from English to Greek, Albanian, Hungarian, Polish, and Ukrainian. With TSA support, a workshop was held in Athens, to train clinicians from the participating countries in the use of these clinical instruments. Educational leaflets about TS were distributed to all members of the Hellenic Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a workshop for medical professionals was held in Athens. Websites with information for medical and educational professionals as well as individuals with TS, in the native languages of participating countries are also being designed. This initiative will create an important resource for the study of TS genetics around the world and will educate both the public and professionals in Southern and Eastern Europe about the disorder. Peristera Paschou, Ph.D. Democritus University of Thrace Alexandroupoli, Greece Award: $74,970 (2nd year) Commentary: In order to identify genes that are involved in neurological disorders such as Tourette Syndrome (TS), it is necessary to obtain and study genetic material from a large number of people with the disorder of interest. In this project, Dr. Paschou will coordinate the collection of blood samples from people with TS from seven Southern and Eastern European countries. The researcher will then analyze the genetic material in these samples and the results will be compared with those obtained by researchers in TSA’s International Consortium for Genetics. An important additional benefit from this study is that clinicians and the general public living in these countries will be educated about Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2009-2010