New report tackles lack of understanding of Tourette Syndrome in teenagers

July 3, 2014
New report tackles lack of understanding of Tourette Syndrome in teenagers

Scientists have found the first reliable evidence that physical activity and sport can help children with Tourette Syndrome to reduce and control their tics and could offer new paths for treatment and therapies.

The research, funded by The Big Lottery and commissioned by Tourettes Action, was led by Georgina Jackson, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology from The University of Nottingham's Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Using a combination of interviews, surveys and observations of with TS, Professor Jackson and her team explored what sufferers and their families think hinders their education and in turn influences their tics and social interactions. The young people were all aged between 10 and 20.

Understanding Tourette Syndrome

Prior to this work, very little research had been carried out from the perspective of the parents and young people with TS, on their needs and the factors supporting or affecting educational and psychosocial adjustment when growing up with TS.

The findings of the project could be used to help to improve the experiences of children and teenagers with TS.

Professor Jackson said: "Young people with TS report that anxiety provoking situations increase tics whereas tic reduction is associated with engaging in physical activities and enjoyed extra-curricular pursuits. Our observational findings support the notion that engagement in physical activity leads to tic attenuation and alleviation of tic related distress. The sustained effect of physical activity on TS symptomatology also suggests a potential therapeutic use in tic management for clinicians and schools."

Social acceptance

Chief Executive of Tourettes Action Suzanne Dobson said: "We were delighted to be able to commission this research to the University. Tourettes Action want people with TS to receive the practical support and social acceptance they need to help them live their lives to the full. Our drumming workshops and other associated activities that we organise are testament that engagement in can lessen tics.

"We are also proud to have been able to produce the TS Passport. A four sided document where young people with TS can add information about their tics and social situations that heightens/lessens their tics and a space for any medication accompanied with their photograph. This is a perfect document for additional information to accompany their ID card."

TS is a neuropsychiatric condition involving involuntary muscular movements and vocal sounds (). Tics can sometimes be delayed or supressed for a short period of time, but this can take a huge amount of effort and can be extremely tiring for children. TS affects up to one per cent of school children and tic severity peaks at around 10 to 12 years, the time when start secondary school.

Although TS does not affect intellectual ability it may affect educational attainment, and young people with TS are more likely to be emotionally and socially less well-adjusted than their peers.

Explore further: Tourette Syndrome in secondary schools

More information: An overview of the project report can be found here: www.tourettes-action.org.uk/st … _project_summary.pdf

Related Stories

Tourette Syndrome in secondary schools

December 3, 2013
Secondary school can be a stressful enough time for any teenager, but for those living with Tourette Syndrome (TS) their neurological condition can present a whole new set of challenges.

'Brain training' overcomes tics in Tourette syndrome, study finds

April 18, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) may unconsciously train their brain to more effectively control their tics, a study led by experts at The University of Nottingham has confirmed.

Researchers uncover mechanism controlling Tourette syndrome tics

December 11, 2013
A mechanism in the brain which controls tics in children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham.

Recommended for you

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.