WMU News

Participants sought for study on Tourette's Syndrome

Oct. 25, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Researchers at Western Michigan University are looking for children ages 8-15 with vocal or motor tics to take part in a new study on Tourette's Syndrome and other tic disorders.

Tourette's Syndrome is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated and involuntary body movements and uncontrollable vocal sounds. In a minority of cases, the vocalizations can include socially inappropriate and unintended words and phrases. Involuntary symptoms can include eye blinking, repeated throat clearing or sniffing, arm thrusting, kicking movements, shoulder shrugging or jumping.

The WMU Department of Psychology is undertaking the study with North Dakota State University and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where study results will be analyzed.

The purpose of the study is to determine how often children's tics occur and whether they are able to control their tics voluntarily. The researchers are also interested in whether children have more tics after a period of time when they try to control them. In addition, the researchers want to know what might be different in children who can control their tics better than others. They hope that by conducting the research and answering these questions, professionals will better understand tics, which may lead to better treatments for them.

The study will involve approximately eight hours of participation over two days, and individuals will earn money for participating.

For more information, contact Amanda Firth at (269) 387-4629 or firth_wmu@hotmail.com.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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