Functional brain connectivity in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome


Philadelphia, July 7, 2021 – Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, causes motor and phonic “tics” or uncontrollable repeated behaviors and vocalizations. People with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome can often suppress these tics for a period of time before the cravings get overwhelming, and researchers have long questioned the neural basis for the suppression effort.

Now, in a new study Using a non-invasive technique to measure brain activity called high-density electroencephalography (hdEEG), researchers at the Yale School of Medicine assessed the impact of tic suppression on functional connectivity between regions of the brain.

The study appears in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neurosciences and Neuroimaging, published by Elsevier.

“Tic suppression is an important feature of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Understanding how a person can temporarily control their tics may inform several areas of research in Tourette’s syndrome. Yet the brain correlates of tic suppression. tics have not been studied extensively, particularly in children, “said Denis Sukhodolsky, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor at the Yale Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT , United States.

Cameron Carter, MD, editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, said of the study: “Understanding the brain mechanisms associated with successful adaptation to disorders such as Gilles de syndrome. Tourette opens up opportunities to develop targeted treatments to improve the innate self-control that normally emerges as the brain matures. ”

The team led by Dr Sukhodolsky recorded the brain activity of 72 children, ages 8 to 16, with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome using hdEEG, as they ticked freely and qu ‘they suppressed their tics. The researchers then assessed the connectivity between different regions of the brain.

The authors found that connectivity between multiple regions of the brain was increased as children suppressed their tics. “Some of these regions are part of the default mode network, a collection of brain regions engaged during internal thought processes such as reverie,” explained lead author Simon Morand-Beaulieu, PhD.

Additionally, the researchers reported that functional brain connectivity during tic suppression was positively correlated with age, suggesting that brain networks for tic suppression undergo developmental changes in response to the tic-suppressing experience. “This increase in functional connectivity as children grow older is consistent with the increased ability to suppress tics that develop into adolescence as well as increased awareness of the sensory phenomena that accompany tics.” , said Dr Morand-Beaulieu.

The study highlights the brain mechanism involved in a temporary decrease in the frequency of tics, which could have therapeutic implications. “It will be important to assess whether the same mechanism plays a role in a more structured intervention to reduce the severity of tics, such as behavior therapy for Tourette’s syndrome,” said Dr. Sukhodolsky.


Notes for Editors

The article is “Increased alpha band connectivity during tic suppression in children with Tourette syndrome revealed by source EEG analysis”, by Simon Morand-Beaulieu, Jia Wu, Linda Mayes , Heidi Grantz, James Leckman, Michael Crowley, Denis Sukhodolsky (https: //do /ten.1016 /j.bpsc.2021.05.001). It appears as an article in the press in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, published by Elsevier.

Copies of this document are available on request for accredited journalists; please contact Rhiannon Bugno at [email protected] “> [email protected] or +1 254 522 9700. Journalists wishing to interview the authors can contact Simon Morand-Beaulieu at [email protected]”> simon. [email protected] or Denis Sukhodolsky at [email protected] “> [email protected] or +1 (203) 785-6446.

Authors’ affiliations and conflict of interest and financial disclosures are available in the article.

Cameron S. Carter, MD, is professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California at Davis. His conflict of interest and financial declarations are available here.

About Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neurosciences and Neuroimaging is an official journal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, whose aim is to promote excellence in scientific research and education in fields that study the nature, causes, mechanisms and treatments of disorders of thought, emotions or behavior. In keeping with this mission, this international, peer-reviewed, rapid-publication journal focuses on studies using the tools and constructs of cognitive neuroscience, including the full range of non-invasive neuroimaging and extra- and physiological recording methodologies. human intracranial. He publishes both fundamental and clinical studies, including those that integrate genetic data, pharmacological challenges, and computer modeling approaches. The 2019 impact factor score for Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging is 5.335. http: // /bpcnni

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Media contact

Rhiannon Bugno, Editorial Office

Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

+1 254 522 9700

[email protected]


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