The purpose of this study is to learn more about how patients with Tourette Syndrome deal
with sensory stimuli in their environment such as bright lights, loud noises, physical
sensations such as shirt tags, etcetera. We will compare responses of patients with Tourette
Syndrome to those without Tourette Syndrome.
The study aims to better characterize sensory processing abnormalities by sensory modality:
The investigators will use a measuring tool based on Dunn's 1997 model of sensory
processing, the Sensory Profile, which will allow the investigator to characterize both
registration and response to external stimuli, as well as to delineate which sensory
modalities are affected. Identifying which sensory modalities are most affected may guide
future research into the pathophysiology of sensory processing abnormalities in TS.
The investigators also aim to correlate sensory processing abnormalities with the presence
of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ,
and autism spectrum disorders.
While it is widely recognized that patients with tic and Tourette Syndrome (TS) experience
heightened sensitivity to or abnormal processing of internal sensations, it has also been
suggested that patients with tic and TS experience abnormal processing of external
sensations/stimuli. While this sensitivity to external stimuli does not appear to trigger
motor or vocal tics, it can significantly affect quality of life. These sensitivities can be
a source of irritation, discomfort, and distraction that can be equally or more disruptive
than vocal or motor tics. Heightened sensitivity to external stimuli or other abnormalities
of external sensory processing have been identified in other neuropsychological disorders
such as autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, ADHD, and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) . TS often presents with co-morbid diagnoses including
attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
but it is not currently known whether sensitivity to external stimuli is due to a central
processing abnormality common to these disorders.
This study's objective is to use a variety of questionnaires to determine how external
stimuli along with the presence of other disorders effect sensory processing.
- Targeted study population includes patients diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome
- Patient of University of Florida Movement Disorders Center diagnosed with Tourette
Syndrome by a movement disorder specialist, according to DSM IV diagnostic criteria
- Age 6-18
- Presence of parent or guardian able to provide consent in the case of minors
- Inability of patient or, in the case of minors, parent/guardian to provide informed
- Inability of designated person to complete questionnaires. In the case of patients'
age 10 and younger, this would refer to the parent/guardian. In the case of patients
older than 10, this could be either the patient or their parent/guardian