New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome is working on solutions by offering the world’s first TS Sharing Repository
Oct 15, 2008 – A recent study shows the incidence of Tourette Syndrome is on the rise. The study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found “not only marked increases in autism as expected, but also in hyperactivity and Tourette Syndrome.”
“This study highlights not only the alarming widespread rise of Tourette and neuropsychiatric disorders in children as a whole, but the growing need for support and services for the children and families affected by these disorders,” said New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome Executive Director Faith Rice.
The study, conducted by Denmark’s University of Aarhus, tracked over 650,000 children over a ten year period. Researchers found marked increases in diagnoses of Tourette’s as well as autism and hyperkinetic disorder. The report did not identify what had caused the increases.
While autism has gleaned a great deal of media attention of late, with studies showing a clear rise in its incidence, Tourette Syndrome is silently gaining ground as well. In fact, Tourette is much more widespread than people realize—affecting as many as 28,000 kids in New Jersey alone. Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal (phonic) sounds called tics.
An estimated 1 in 200 New Jersey schoolchildren show at least partial signs of Tourette Syndrome, which can range from severe verbal and physical contortions to milder tics that are barely recognizable. It is sometimes best known for sudden outbursts of profanity, but that characteristic afflicts only about 5 percent of those identified as having the disorder, advocates say. Commonly, people with Tourette syndrome also have co-occurring disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and depression.
NJCTS is working in close collaboration with Rutgers University to offer the world’s first TS DNA Sharing Repository. The repository is headed by noted geneticist Dr. Jay Tischfield. This is the nation’s first sharing repository of human tissue for the exploration of genetic links to TS. For more information on the NJCTS Sharing Repository visit tourettesyndromeresearch.org.