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University Hospitals Case Medical Center finds new treatment holds promise for Tourette syndrome
Date:11/12/2007

Research out of the Neurological Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center finds that Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) helps patients who suffer from Tourette Syndrome (TS). This first-of-its-kind study of five adults with TS determined that DBS can reduce tic frequency and severity in some people who have exhausted other medical treatments.

Tourette syndrome is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by sudden, repetitive muscle movements (motor tics) and vocalizations (vocal tics). It often begins in childhood. By young adulthood the tics have usually diminished in frequency and severity. However, in some adults, like those that participated in this clinical trial, the tics become more disabling even with best medical therapy.

The UHCMC teams prospective double-blind study followed these five adults with TS over the course of 12 months. The 3-month data are published in the November issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery. The team concluded that the majority of patients experienced a significant reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life. The study followed their landmark case in 2004 when the UHCMC neurological team used DBS to treat a 31-year-old man with Tourette Syndrome. Once his deep brain stimulators were turned on he had an immediate and nearly complete resolution of his symptoms.

This is this first and only careful scientific surgical trial for Tourette Syndrome, and provides the highest level of data showing that this surgery is proven to be significantly beneficial for medically refractory Tourette, says Robert Maciunas, MD, Vice Chairman and Professor of Neurological Surgery at UHCMC and lead author of the paper. This study promises to change the standard of care for patients who fail to respond to traditional medications. It promises to usher in a new era of medical research and treatment for Tourette Syndrome with DBS, he says.

DBS is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for trea
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Contact: Alicia Reale
alicia.reale@uhhospitals.org
216-844-5158
University Hospitals of Cleveland
Source:Eurekalert

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