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What is Tourette Syndrome?PeoplePhoto
Tourette syndrome (TS) is defined by having both multiple motor and vocal tics that last for more than one year and start before age 18 years. Tics are sudden, rapid, repeated, non-rhythmic movements (motor tics) or vocalizations (vocal tics). Examples of motor tics are eye blinking, shoulder shrugging, and body bending. Vocal tics may include sniffing, tongue clicking, and, in rare cases, cursing. Tics are quite common, particularly in children. While some people suffer from severe motor and vocal tics, others may not always be aware of their presence. Other tic disorders include chronic tic disorder (only motor or vocal tics) and transient tic disorder. For more information, see our “Links about Tourette Syndrome” page.

What causes TS and other tic disorders?
Tic disorders are known to be related to parts of the brain that control movements, although the exact causes of tics are still poorly understood. There is a strong hereditary basis of tics which often run in families. Finding the genes involved in tic disorders can provide important clues as to which brain functions are impaired. This will help find new therapies for the treatment of tic disorders.

What is the aim of TIC Genetics?
TIC Genetics aims to identify the genes that are involved in causing tic disorders.

Who can participate in TIC Genetics?
Families with persons with a tic disorder and their affected or unaffected family members are invited to participate in the TIC Genetics study. Participating family members may be of any age. Families can consist of:

(1) One child (or adult) with a tic disorder and both of his/her biological parents or

(2) Several (at least three) affected family members with a tic disorder and their unaffected first-degree relatives (parents, children, siblings).

What do I need to do for TIC Genetics?
All participating family members fill in a questionnaire on tics and related behaviors and are invited to a single visit to one of our study sites. During that visit the questionnaire will be reviewed and a single blood draw will be taken.

How can I participate in TIC Genetics?
If you are interested in possible participation in TIC Genetics, please send an email to one of our study sites or to Dr. Gary Heiman