Tourette Association of America Announces 13th Year Partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tourette Association of America continues to raise awareness for Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Tourette Association of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are pleased to announce the continuation of their partnership into its 13th year to improve the understanding and awareness of Tourette syndrome in both lay and professional sectors of the US population. Tourette and other Tic Disorders, which are a neurodevelopment conditions marked by involuntary movements and sounds called tics, affect approximately 1:100 school age-children and a significant number of adults in our country.

“Although Tourette syndrome, Tic Disorders and Tics occur frequently in the population, these conditions remain poorly understood among the general public, are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed by care providers, and are frequently portrayed inaccurately in the media”, said Dr. Kevin St. P. McNaught, former Executive Vice President at the TAA. Therefore, the TAA will receive a grant of $900,000 to support the development and dissemination of authoritative information to improve awareness of Tourette syndrome over the next year of the partnership.

During the past 12 years of the collaboration, the TAA has received over $10 million in grants from the CDC to support the partnership. This funding was made possible by Title 23 of the Children’s Health Act, signed by the US Congress in September of 2000, and authorizes the Public Health Education and Research Program on Tourette Syndrome. “Past funding from the CDC has made a tremendous impact on Tourette Syndrome by supporting the development of authoritative materials and delivery of nearly 1000 educational programs to nearly 200,000 care providers, families, etc. These have covered key areas, such as diagnoses, management and living with Tourette syndrome”, said Alexandra Gemma, MPH, TAA Program Director of the partnership.

Tourette syndrome and Tic Disorders are often associated with a complex spectrum of tics and other features, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning difficulties. These can range from mild to severe and disabling. Individuals, especially children, with TS and Tic Disorders are also impacted by other issues, such as bullying and social exclusion. In the coming year, the TAA–CDC partnership will expand the program’s reach and impact by using the latest technology to stream program content online, utilize social media, and develop a robust series of resources to better equip the community with the tools necessary to navigate the often complex Tourette syndrome landscape.

John Miller, CEO and President of the TAA, notes that the CDC partnership is one the organization’s most successful programs and is perfectly aligned with its mission to make life better for all people affected by Tourette and other Tic Disorders. “Funding for the program requires re-authorization by Congress each year. We are thankful to our members who have advocated to their state representatives to support this process over the years, and we urge you to continue pressing your elected officials to support the program in the years ahead,” said Mr. Miller.