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Genetic Studies Give Clues to Tourette Syndrome, OCD
Date:8/14/2012

an, a co-author of the studies and a distinguished professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Yale University, explained that genetic analysis is complicated by the fact that while some people have just Tourette syndrome or only OCD, a percentage has both, and others also have ADHD. Some have very resistant symptoms and others are treated effectively, usually with cognitive behavioral therapy.

"GWAS studies lump everybody together but we need to tease out the differences," Leckman said. "I'm not sure the GWAS strategy will get us where we need to go."

Three of every 1,000 children have Tourette syndrome, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Psychiatric Association says more than 4 million people have OCD.

"These are chronic conditions; people with OCD and Tourette's deal with it every day. Both, at their worst, are debilitating, and the anxiety is always present," said Alies Muskin, executive director of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, in Silver Spring, Md.

Tourette syndrome and OCD can be treated with cognitive behavioral and exposure therapy, which train people to deal with their anxiety, Muskin said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about OCD and Tourette syndrome.

SOURCES: Francis J. McMahon, M.D., chief, human genetics branch, intramural research program, U.S. National Institutes of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.; James Leckman, M.D., Neison Harris Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.; Alies Muskin, executive director, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Silver Spring, Md.; Aug. 14, 2012, Molecular Psychiatry


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