Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deep brain stimulation and Tourette's

Deep brain stimulation has been used to treat people with depression and now new research from Birmingham University in the U.K. suggests that it might also be helpful for people with Tourette's syndrome too. People with Tourette's have uncontrolled movements, vocalizations and tics and often also suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The researchers used deep brain stimulation on 15 people with severe Tourette's and OCD who had already tried medication and psychological treatments. The brain stimulation involved a surgically-implanted brain pacemaker sending electrical impulses to certain parts of the brain. The participants in the study experienced 52% fewer tics and their OCD, depression and anxiety fell by up to a third. The treatment had no effect on people's cognition but larger studies need to be done before the treatment becomes more widely available.

You can find out more about this research at

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