What We Know:
Tourette syndrome is a common condition that causes multiple tics. Tics can be unwanted body movements and sounds. For some patients, tics are bothersome and can limit the activities and opportunities in their lives. Treatment is sometimes needed. When a doctor starts a treatment, they need to know if tics are getting better. For this reason, doctors measure tics during a clinic visit. Tics are currently measured by asking the patient to remember their tics in the last week or by counting the tics seen on a short video taken in the clinic. Unfortunately, these measurements are not perfect.
Our Plan to Help:
Dr. Deeb will have a total of 30 persons with Tourette syndrome at the University of Florida participate in this study. Dr. Deeb’s team will test if it is possible to use skin stickers to detect tics. The skin stickers will measure the tic-caused muscle movements over different body parts. The measurements will be compared to tics seen by the doctor in the clinic. Dr. Deeb will use this information to make a computer program that can detect tics from skin stickers.
The Potential Impact:
The measurements used currently for tics are not perfect as they are based on the patient’s memory of the tics in the last week or a short video in the clinic. Tics tend to change from time to time and patients usually hide their tics when they are in a clinic. Dr. Deeb’s study will help doctors detect tics more accurately which will help them know when to adjust their patients’ medications and also help researchers develop new treatments for tics.
The American Brain Foundation is proud to partner with the Tourette Association of America to support Dr. Deeb’s research.