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Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

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  • Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

    Association Between Maternal Smoking and Increased Symptom Severity in Tourette?s Syndrome

    Carol A. Mathews, M.D., Brianne Bimson, B.S., Thomas L. Lowe, M.D., Luis Diego Herrera, M.D., Cathy L. Budman, M.D., Gerald Erenberg, M.D., Allen Naarden, M.D., Ruth D. Bruun, M.D., Nelson B. Freimer, M.D. and Victor I. Reus, M.D.

    OBJECTIVE: Substantial evidence suggests that both environmental and genetic factors contribute to the development and clinical expression of Tourette?s syndrome. Although genetic studies of Tourette?s syndrome are common, studies of environmental factors are relatively few and have not identified consistent risk factors across studies. This study examines in a large cohort of subjects (N=180) the relationship between prenatal/perinatal adverse events with Tourette?s syndrome severity as determined by tic severity and rates of commonly comorbid disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and self-injurious behavior.

    METHOD: Tic severity, OCD, ADHD, self-injurious behavior, and exposure to a variety of prenatal/perinatal events were systematically assessed in all subjects enrolled in three genetic studies of Tourette?s syndrome. Using linear and logistic regression, a best-fit model was determined for each outcome of interest.

    RESULTS: Prenatal maternal smoking was strongly correlated with increased tic severity and with the presence of comorbid OCD in these Tourette?s syndrome subjects. Other variables, such as paternal age and subject?s birth weight, were significantly but less strongly associated with increased symptom severity. The authors found no association between symptom severity and hypoxia, forceps delivery, or hyperemesis during pregnancy, which have been previously identified as risk factors.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies prenatal maternal smoking as a strong risk factor for increased symptom severity in Tourette?s syndrome.

    American Journal of Psychiatry 163:1066-1073, June 2006
    doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.6.1066
    Steve
    TouretteLinks Forum

  • #2
    Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

    self-injurious behaviour
    I did not know that self-injurious behaviour is a comorbid condition of TS.

    I have not seen very many discussions on this type of behaviour on the forum therefore, could we have a definition of self-injurious behaviour and signs to watch for in adults and children?

    Our children have bumps and bruises from playing children's games but when does those bruises show signs of a more serious problem?

    Comment


    • #3
      Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

      Hi Steph

      The types of self-injurious behavior I have been exposed to through my volunteer work as well as from my personal experience has been "picking". This could start from a small scratch or it could start from nothing at all and turn into a very large scab or sore... the bigger it gets the more the person may need to pick it. When I was younger I would pick one spot till it got huge and would only stop when it was so big that someone would ask about it, then I'd be so embarrassed it would make me try to stop. One of my son's picked so much that he looked like he had chicken pox but he did not.

      I'm sure there are many more severe cases or stories. I would like to hear from others who have experience in this area.
      Janet

      TSFC Homepage

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      • #4
        Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

        I've had more serious experiences in the past with my son, though picking is a common one when under stress or when anxiety is high.

        In our case it was determined that the TS was only a partial factor that played into the situation and the + part played a larger role.

        Interesting read though and I agree it might be a good thing to offer section on the tic parade for other parents to understand what stresses, lower tolerance and frustrations can stem these behaviors or if they actually do.
        PJK

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        • #5
          Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

          That is a great idea PJK. I think you should start a thread with a little descriptor for this type of discussion? I'm surprised we haven't already had big discussions on this... you are right it's the "plus" issues that tend to cause this... more like the compulsions I believe.
          Janet

          TSFC Homepage

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          • #6
            Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

            Thats a good idea. it would help us sort out self-injurious behavior in one post. My self-injurious behavior is Trichotillomania. This one borders on OCD and self-injurious behavior.

            Marc

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            • #7
              Re: Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

              My only self-injurious behaviours have been tics that involved hitting myself repeatedly. Once isn't actually painful, it's the constant repetition that caused damage. But they were clearly tics, rather than a desire to hurt myself.

              With OCD, I've had millions of self-injurious ideas, but I never acted one any.

              I think it's probably the obsessive-compulsive side of the TS-plus family that would lead to this.


              Back to the point, neither of my parents smoke, and myself and my nine-year-younger brother both have TS. Considering how we were raised a decade apart in different houses, and with somewhat varied parenting styles, it seems that it's mostly a genetic factor for us, at least. Although that's not enough to be certain, of course.
              Colin

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              • #8
                Re: Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

                My son started picking a scar (already healed) on his forehead when he was only 16 months old. As far as I could tell, he was doing it as a self-soothing technique to help himself go to sleep. I had to sew mitts on his pajamas, and later, had to pin the zipper of his sleepers shut so he couldn't get his hands free. It took about a year for him to stop picking that particular site for good, but he has discovered many more over the years! He suffered from strep(!) impetigo frequently, and I always had difficulty determining whether a new sore was an infection or a new picking episode. Now that he's 9, I can reason with him, which helps a lot (I'm sure his meds make it easier too).

                When I was young, I remember having a wart on my hand that I was always digging at (at the time, I thought it was due to embarrassment, but now I see it as a compulsive symptom). Of course, the result was that they spread, and I picked at them for a few years till they spontaneously disappeared.


                Arlene

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                • #9
                  Re: Did Mom Smoke? -- New Tourette Study

                  I do not smoke and never have. I was also very careful at not being around second hand smoke while pregnent or after my children's birth. My son has TS.

                  As for the picking.... my son picks sores excessively. He gets nose bleeds and then picks around his nose. Then he dabs the blood away on his shirt. It use to drive me crazy but now I realize picking sores can be a tic so I leave him be. He has enough stresses right now without me bring this to his attention. I hate seeing this as self injurious behaviour though.

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