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Uncovering the Complexity of Tourette syndrome

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  • Uncovering the Complexity of Tourette syndrome

    Uncovering the complexity of Tourette syndrome, little by little
    Daniel A. Gorman and Elia Abi-Jaoude
    The British Journal of Psychiatry
    January 2014

    Daniel A. Gorman, MD, FRCPC, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto; Elia Abi-Jaoude, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and University Health Network (Toronto Western Hospital), Toronto, Canada

    Daniel A. Gorman is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is a child psychiatrist whose work focuses on Tourette syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, child psychopharmacology and psychiatric education. Elia Abi-Jaoude is a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. His clinical and research interests include Tourette syndrome, self-regulation and critical thinking in medical education and clinical practice.


    The aetiology of Tourette syndrome is highly complex and still poorly understood. In this issue, using data from a large, prospective, population-based cohort of children, Mathews et al examine associations of pre- and perinatal exposures with Tourette syndrome and other chronic tic disorders. Their work illustrates the importance of environmental factors in the aetiology of neuropsychiatric conditions and the value of replication in science.

    Complete article attached
    Attached Files
    TouretteLinks Forum

  • #2
    Re: Uncovering the Complexity of Tourette syndrome

    I took phenergan (as prescribed by my Dr.) for extreme morning sickness. It lasted for 4 weeks and was so bad I could not go to work, eat or literally even stand up.
    On this post the pdf implicates "taking medication" for vomitting during pregnancy. I had not even thought about the phenergan until I saw a documentary about the thalidomide babies. I obviously didn't know about or had heard of thalidomide while or before I was pregnant. Thalidomide effected the babies differently. Some would be missing limbs and some reproductive organs. I feel like I was not informed of the risk by my Dr.
    I guess what I'm saying is I am constantly getting so many different "causes." I am told by my Dr. It is inherited genetic and then every other external post of a research study will state the mother had a prenatal exposure of elicit drug or "medication for vomitting." So it makes me feel confused. My son's TS is more pronounced than mine but he is male and it kind of works like that. Then I read this stuff and freak out I was unknowingly exposing my son to something that caused this. The guilt is not good. I feel like I want to sue the makers of phenergan or my Dr. that prescribed. But I know how that will end $5 to $15k later the case will be thrown out because cdc and dsm-5 says it's inherited genetic condition.
    Any advice? Should I just avoid reading these things because they all say the same thing? And it kind of makes me mad because it implies that if your child has TS you were a drug user or alcohol drinker while pregnant. That is messed up because I didn't even drink caffeine while I was pregnant and I quit smoking cigarettes two years before I got pregnant. I had only been off yazmin birth control for 2 months prior to my getting pregnant. There are ambulance chaser ads on TV about yaz or yazmine causing cleft palate or heart defects. So yea when I read a post like this it starts freaking me out.


    • #3
      Re: Uncovering the Complexity of Tourette syndrome

      Don't be freaked out, Geneva, sounds like you did everything right. As with all studies, we should always consider who is the ultimate funder of these studies and where their interests may lie.

      For example, the study says that use of cannabis (illegal, so it's your fault) is a contributing factor, but smoking cigarettes (possible lawsuit against tobacco companies?) is not. This is interesting, in light of the fact that, over the past four or five decades, the number of people smoking marajuana has risen, while tobacco use has declined.

      I'm not saying this study is biased, only that it may be. Last fall, I read an article in a respected layman's science journal that concluded that some product was safe. The study was conducted by the company that produced the product but it was explained that this was okay because no one else was interested in doing the study! I was really shocked to see that, and whereas I used to read scientific studies with much interest, I've become quite skeptical lately. Just my opinion.

      The study says that contributing factors include "parity". Does anyone know what this means? Could it refer to rh factor compatibility?


      • #4
        Re: Uncovering the Complexity of Tourette syndrome

        parity in this case means if the TS child was a first born or was the younger sibling.

        I think....

        And thanks Twidget because I am constantly "thinking" about everything I could have come in contact w/ while or before I was pregnant. I really freak myself out. But like I said there is nothing that I can do about it. If Dr.'s would say one way or the other "it's definitely something the mother was exposed to while pregnant" or "it's genetic" Then I would have an answer and could quiet my mind. But this kind of literature makes my OCD mind run crazy.