First Clear-Cut Risk Genes for Tourette Disorder Revealed

Results Point to ‘Bright Future’ for Understanding Disorder

By Nicholas Weiler on May 3, 2017

Tourette disorder (also known as Tourette syndrome) afflicts as many as one person in a hundred worldwide with potentially disabling symptoms including involuntary motor and vocal tics. However, researchers have so far failed to determine the cause of the disorder, and treatments have only limited effectiveness, in part because the genetics underlying the disorder have remained largely a mystery.

Now, as reported online May 3, 2017, in Neuron, a consortium of top researchers – led by scientists at UC San Francisco, Rutgers University, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Florida and Yale School of Medicine – has made a significant advance, identifying the first “high-confidence” risk gene for Tourette disorder as well as three other probable risk genes. These findings are a step forward in understanding the biology of the disorder, the authors said, which will aid in the search for better treatments. Read more...

Video abstract