Tics and Tourette’s: How Research Informs Treatment

Barbara Coffey, MD, MS, discusses current research on Tourette’s Disorder (TD) at an event organized in conjunction with the New York City chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association.

 – April 17, 2013  –– 

In an April 2013 event organized in conjunction with the New York City chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association, Dr. Barbara Coffey discussed current research on Tourette’s Disorder (TD). She shared data indicating that 79 percent of patients with TD have other related disorders.

“Treating these comorbid symptoms and conditions may improve patients’ overall well-being and reduce tics,” said Dr. Coffey. She presented the TIC Genetics project, an international study exploring the genomics of families with tics and Tourette’s, and highlighted treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), which have proved to be effective in the management of tics. Toward the end of her presentation, Dr. Coffey discussed the clinical trials currently underway in her program at Mount Sinai. These studies are investigating novel medication treatments in both adult and child/adolescent populations. Dr. Coffey also outlined future directions in her research, such as the role of inflammation in tic and anxiety disorders and exploration of combinations of medication and behavioral treatment in children with tics and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The event was well-attended, and during the discussion, the audience asked about novel treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, which Dr. Coffey recognized as a potential new pathway in the treatment of tics.

Dr. Coffey is now recruiting participants for her studies. If you are interested in learning more about these studies, please visit www.mountsinai.org/ticstourettes or contact Resham Gellatly at 212-659-1677.

- Barbara Coffey, MD, MS, Chief of the Tics and Tourette’s Clinical and Research Program, Division of Tics, OCD and Related Disorders, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai