cbit hand therapy

Seed Funding by TAA has High Impact

The Tourette Association’s Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) met in Atlanta, GA this past April to discuss updates on current studies, explore emerging issues in the field of TS research and treatment, and review applications to our annual Grants and fellowship Program. For over 30 years, the TAA has provided more that $21 million in seed funding for innovative research projects and training for early stage investigators, which has resulted in significant impact for the Tourette and Tic community. Intended to place promising Tourette physicians and scientists in positions to leverage their findings into larger research awards to further our understanding and treatments for TS, the program has been extremely successful. In fact, a full 60% of currently funded NINDS and NIMH Research Program Grants that focus on Tourette Syndrome are awarded to investigators who were previously supported by the TAA. What that means is that the TAA has been successful in identifying both promising researchers and studies to advance the understanding and treatment of Tourette and Tic disorders.

Funded Studies Show Promise

Several current studies that focus on medications are showing progress. For example, Abilfy has now been approved by the FDA to treat TS. There will also be continued work with Psyadon to study ecopipam, and with Neurocrine to study a drug currently in development. The TAA has supported each of these efforts through either a grant or recruitment assistance and will remain committed to funding TS medication trials.

In the realm of behavior therapy, the Tourette Syndrome Behavior Therapy Institute (TS-BTI) Program continues to see significant enrollment. The TAA has five TS-BTIs scheduled for 2016, which will continue to train professionals in Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) – an innovative treatment approach that is, in many cases, as effective as medication without any troublesome side effects. The CBIT technique is one of the major success stories of the small grant program, and in just the past two years, our TS-BTIs have more than doubled the number of providers around the country who are certified in CBIT!