Can median nerve stimulation reduce tics?

A fascinating publication from the University of Nottingham describes a non-invasive method that may reduce tics. The idea is that rhythmic input to a brain region can entrain that region to fire in synchrony with the input, and some rhythmic firing patterns seem to inhibit movement. The stimulation was delivered by generating a small electrical […]

Cool research result from the New Tics study

We just published results showing that brain structure, measured by MRI when we first met children with recent onset of tics, helped predict how much improvement there would be in a clinical rating scale for tics when the children returned at the 1-year anniversary of their first tic. Read more about it either here, written […]

Tic Talk 2020 final survey results

Twenty-seven people responded to our survey asking people what content they wanted for our Tic Talk 2020 meeting (May 2, here at Wash. U.). Thank you! Most respondents (81%) were family members of someone with tics. And … the envelope, please! Here are the main results: Topics you are interested in: Tics at school, working […]

Disappointing results from VMAT2 inhibitors

Teva Pharmaceuticals recently announced that in a couple of studies, deutetrabenazine did not prove statistically superior to placebo for treatment of Tourette syndrome in youth.* This  honestly comes as a big surprise to me (and of course to the sponsor). Although without controlled trial evidence, its parent drug tetrabenazine had been used for tics for […]

TAA statement on PANDAS

The Tourette Association of America’s PANDAS/PANS Workgroup has issued a public statement about PANDAS. It succinctly summarizes the current state of evidence about this controversial diagnosis. A recommended read for anyone interested.

Tic Talk 2020 initial survey results

Below is a brief summary of the results from the first 21 people to take the survey. If you haven’t already responded, we’d love your input to help us design Tic Talk 2020 by taking this short 5-question survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8XT6Z7K Topics you are interested in: Tics and school: 76% How psychological factors or situations influence tics: […]

Help us plan content for Tic Talk 2020

Tic Talk 2020 is on! Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Wash. U. School of Medicine. We want to hear from you about what topics we should cover. Please take this short 5-question survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8XT6Z7K Thank you!

Online survey for anyone 18+ diagnosed with TS

Sharing an online survey about eating and dietary behaviors. From the University of Hertfordshire, UK,  via Tourettes Action. For individuals aged 18 or over from all over the world. To find out more or to take part, click here.

New web address!

The web page for the TAA Center of Excellence at Washington University in St. Louis is now available at tics.wustl.edu—easier to remember, we hope.

Safety of antipsychotic medications

A new publication reports on antipsychotic medications in people with schizophrenia. Of course schizophrenia is very different from tic disorders. Nevertheless, the medications best proven to reduce tic severity are also used as antipsychotics. In both populations concerns arise about the long-term impacts of physical side effects of antipsychotics, especially with regards to obesity and […]

New treatment study for children with Tourette syndrome

We are now enrolling children with TS, ages 6-17, in a new treatment study. The research study will compare an investigational product, EBS-101 a.k.a. ecopipam, to a placebo (inactive substance). Further information about the study is available at this site, and at ClinicalTrials.gov. If you have questions, or to enroll, please contact us: Hannah  Stubblefield RN314 […]

Interesting retrospective study of Provisional Tic Disorder

I just saw this abstract from 2 years ago. The authors looked at back at the medical history at initial presentation from 60 children with Tourette syndrome. Most (60%) had multiple motor tics during their “first tic episode” (a term not defined in the abstract). Children who had phonic tics initially were older.

TAA Center of Excellence designation

In June of this year, the Tourette Association of America chose Washington University as a Center of Excellence! This designation recognizes the longstanding breadth and depth of expertise in patient care and research of our colleagues here at WUSTL and of the Greater Missouri TAA chapter. Hooray and thank you! However, we know we haven’t […]

Tics in ADHD

ADHD is really common in people with tics: at least 50% of children with tics also have ADHD [1]. What about the other side? I mean, how common are tics in children with ADHD? Until recently, I would have said, “well, more common than in kids without ADHD.” That’s true, but recently I have begun […]

“I’ve found the answer to TS,” or why science isn’t faster

Recently someone with TS wrote me to say that he had discovered a trigger for tics and a potential treatment that might apply to others. I applaud his careful observations and willingness to share. But how can we move this observation forward? After all, numerous potential cures to TS have been proposed, ranging from antibiotics […]

Treating tics: an overview

What can I do for my child with tics? The first question is whether s/he needs treatment. Most children probably don’t. All of our current treatments just reduce the symptoms. A key question is, are the tics really interfering (now) with schoolwork or friendship, or interfering with other students’ learning? If so, then that’s a […]

Results from chapter grants survey, 10/2018

The results are in! We collected 33 votes (see “Oops” below to check whether your vote counted). We will use this information to guide our application to TAA. Stay tuned by connecting with the chapter or following the WashU Tics page on Facebook or @NewTics on Twitter.  Background The Tourette Association of America (TAA), in partnership with the […]

TicTrainer software description

We have just published a revised description of the software that runs TicTrainer.com, which is meant to help people practice tic suppression in a video-game-like format with help from a third party observer (like a parent or clinician). Here is further information.

Which children can suppress tics best?

See this link for information about recently-published research from Wash.U. combined with several other research groups.

“Rage attacks” in children with tics

A couple of our recent study volunteers had serious problems with what you could variously call sudden tantrums, explosive outbursts, or brief violence. Of course, kids with tics can have all the problems anyone else can have. But about 1 in 5 children with Tourette syndrome have experiences that have been called “rage attacks.” These rage […]

ADHD medications and tics

Recently, two different families asked me about whether it was safe for their child with tics to take medication for ADHD. Short answer: yes, it’s safe. Here’s the long answer. ADHD is very common in children with tics—nearly half of children with Tourette syndrome (TS) have ADHD. So the question comes up often. First I […]

Is it OK to talk with my child about the tics?

In our study of children whose tics began just over the past few months, I have encountered several parents who have been hesitant to have any discussion at all with their child about the tics. Here are my thoughts on the subject. Behavior therapy experts recommend creating a “tic-neutral environment.”1 In part, this means that […]

Thank you!

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, we would like to thank the many people who have been important to our work on Tourette syndrome and tic disorders here at Washington University. First, thank you to all of you who have been our patients over the years. You have taught us a great deal not only […]