Commentary| Volume 79, ISSUE 5, P343-344, March 01, 2016

Deep Brain Stimulation for Tourette Syndrome: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

  • James F. Leckman
    Address correspondence to: James F. Leckman, M.D., Ph.D., Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 230 South Frontage Road, New Haven, CT 06520-7900.
    Child Study Center and Departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
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      Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorder that affects neural circuits involved in sensory and motor processing as well as cognitive control. Tics consist of repetitive, unwanted, non–goal-directed muscle contractions involving discrete muscle groups, which are associated with preceding sensory phenomena (urges) and are variably suppressible by volition (
      ). Most individuals with TS experience improvement of their tics in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, a few individuals have severe and self-injurious tics that are refractory to currently available behavioral and pharmacologic interventions. Untreated, severe tics can lead to permanent disability and injury (e.g., severe head snapping tics leading to permanent injury to the cervical spinal cord or persistent eye-poking tics leading to blindness).
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