Research on Tics and Tourette’s Disorder

The research component of Mount Sinai’s Tics and Tourette’s Clinical and Research Program focuses on the natural history, course, clinical phenomenology, and treatment of Tourette's and tic disorders. Additionally, our team of experts conducts research into the relationship between tics and other comorbid disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Anxiety or Mood Disorders. Novel therapeutic approaches are also available through our Program for those with Tourette’s and tic disorders.

Current Research Studies

Collaborative Genomic Studies of Tourette’s Disorder: Previous studies suggest that Tourette’s Disorder (TD) has a strong inherited component. The aim of this study is to obtain DNA samples from participants with TD and at least 2 family members in order to identify genetic factors that play a role in causing TD and related disorders such as OCD and ADHD. We are currently recruiting subjects of all ages, with a diagnosis of TD at Icahn School of Medicine and Nathan Kline Institute of Psychiatric Research. See Eligibility Criteria

Sensory Processing in Children and Adolescents with Tourette and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Children and adolescents with tic disorders usually report sensory symptoms along with tics. In conjunction with the Seaver Autism Center, we are currently recruiting subjects aged 6-17 years with a diagnosis of Tourette's or chronic tic disorder to assess their response to tactile, visual and auditory stimuli.

If you think that your child might be a good candidate for this study and would like to be contacted by the study team to find out more, please complete this form.

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid in Tourette’s Disorder: An MR Spectroscopy Study: The aim of this study is to use fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and MRS (Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy) to evaluate changes in levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain. In conjunction with the lab of Dr. Vilma Gabbay, we are currently recruiting subjects, right-handed adolescents ages 12-17 years, with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of TD at Icahn School of Medicine and Nathan Kline Institute of Psychiatric Research. (Currently closed to enrollment)

Cognitive and sensory processing in psychiatric disorders using fMRI: Do you have OCD, tics, or Tourette's Disorder? If so, you might be eligible for a research study looking at cognition at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. You must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and in good physical health.

If eligible, we will ask you to come in for 1-3 separate appointments for a total time commitment of approximately 8 to 12 hours. You will be reimbursed for your participation at the rate of 25 dollars per hour. You will receive no direct benefit for your participation in this study.

During this experiment you will be asked to complete some computer tasks. You may be asked to do this while sitting in an office, or while having your brain activity measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). You may be asked to take 1 dose of an FDA approved drug that is commonly used to treat nausea.  We may also ask to record some physiological changes in your body while you complete the task. (Currently closed to enrollment)

Current Clinical Trials

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of NBI-98854 in subjects with Tourette Syndrome: After completing the phase 1 of the study with promising results, we are currently recruiting subjects with a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome to examine the efficacy of an investigational  medication for tics called valbenazine (or NBI-988854). Both children and adult subjects can be eligible to participate. See Eligibility Criteria

A Phase 1b, Open-Label, Multiple-Dose Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamic of NBI-98854 in Children and Adolescents with Tourette Syndrome” (Currently closed to enrollment)

Pilot Study of SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) in Moderate to Severe Tourette Syndrome: This is an open label, multi-site, pilot study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of SD-809 for the treatment of Tourette Syndrome (TS) in adolescents. (Currently closed to enrollment)

A 6-Month, Multicenter, Randomized, Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetic, and Preliminary Efficacy Study of AZD5213 in Adolescents with Tourette’s Disorder (TD): This two-part, randomized, multi-center, blinded study in adolescents with Tourette’s disorder is designed to assess the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of AZD5213. (Currently closed to enrollment)

Guanfacine in Children with Tourette’s Disorder or Chronic Tic Disorder (Shire Pharmaceuticals)This is a small, multi-site, investigator initiated controlled study designed to determine whether extended release guanfacine is beneficial and tolerable in treatment of tics in children and adolescents with Tourette’s Disorder (TD) or Chronic Tic Disorder. (Currently closed to enrollment)

Proof-of-Concept Safety Study of CPP-109 (Vigabatrin) for Treatment Refractory Tourette's DisorderThis is a proof of concept, open label study in collaboration with Dr. Jonathan D. Brodie at the NYU Langone Medical Center to obtain preliminary data regarding dosage and tolerability of vigabatrin. (Currently closed to enrollment)

Oral Aripiprazole in Children and Adolescents with Tourette's Disorder: The aims of this study are to compare the efficacy of aripiprazole with placebo in the suppression of tics and to evaluate the safety and tolerability of the once-daily treatment with oral tablets in children and adolescents (7-17 years) with a diagnosis of Tourette's Disorder. (Currently closed to enrollment)

If you are interested in learning more about the research done at our program or would like to become involved with any of our studies, please contact research coordinator Maxwell Luber (212-659-1676,