Research Opportunities

Two TS-related studies are being conducted by doctors at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kevin Black is conducting a study with children between the ages of five and 17 who are experiencing a recent (past six months) onset of “tics” — repetitive, involuntary sounds or movements such as eye blinking, sniffing, abdominal tensing, or making small noises.

    The purpose of this study is to compare children who go on to develop Tourette Syndrome (TS) with those who do not. It is the same study as the one Dr. Black initiated last year, with two changes: The study previously considered children ages five to 14 (now five to 17) and defined “recent onset” as occurring in the past three months (now six months).

    Requirements include four visits over approximately 12 months, questionnaires, assessments, interviews, genetic testing (saliva sample), and MRI scan. Compensation is available.

In the second study, Dr. Black teams with Dr. Bradley Schlaggar to look at the way the brain works in people with Tourette Syndrome using brain imaging.

    This study is limited to children eight to 17 years of age who have Tourette Syndrome (chronic motor and/or vocal tics) and are able to safely have an MRI (e.g., no metal implants or braces).

    Requirements include a screening visit lasting up to 6 hours and an MRI visit lasting about 2 hours. Volunteers will be compensated for their time and effort: $50 for the screening visit and $25 for the MRI scanning.

Parental permission is required for both studies. For more information, contact the studies coordinator, Mary, at 314-362-7651.

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