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Tourette syndrome misconceptions only one battle for patients
Date:4/15/2009

Calgary, AB- The most disabling aspect of Tourette syndrome is that in 90% of cases, it exists in conjunction with another disorder. The most frequent co-occurring condition in people with Tourette is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), though the cause of this association is uncertain. Having one disorder can be disabling enough, but having two means coping with more than twice the disability.

New research published in the April 13 edition of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics by University of Calgary and University of Toronto researchers looked at nearly 400 children with Tourette syndrome to try to understand the connection between these two disorders. Their findings show that while Tourette and ADHD have a major genetic component, there are potentially preventable perinatal factors that increase the risk of a co-occurring diagnosis of ADHD in children with Tourette.

"We know that perinatal stress is a risk factor for ADHD alone. If you were low birth weight, if your mother smoked during pregnancy, or if you were born prematurely, all these things increase the risk of ADHD," says Dr. Tamara Pringsheim, Director, Calgary Tourette Syndrome Clinic, a University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine professor and lead author on the study.

To examine the link between Tourette and ADHD, the researchers looked at a population of children that had Tourette syndrome with or without ADHD and compared rates of perinatal risk factors such as low birth weight, prematurity, and maternal smoking in each group. Researchers found that the children exposed to these perinatal risks were two to three times as likely to develop Tourette syndrome with ADHD, suggesting that these factors play a role in the development of ADHD in children with Tourette as well.

Pringsheim, a neurologist and researcher says the important information from this research is for people at risk genetically for Tourette syndrome to
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Contact: Marta
mcyperli@ucalgary.ca
403-210-3835
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert

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