TS and ADHD, Page 24

Behavioral Intervention Therapy

Perhaps matters are beginning to change for the better for those afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome and for those who care about them.

First we had the recent proposed contingent change in DSM-V to classify it under Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (a change that I am not at all confident will occur due to political reasons), and now we have an extensive study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which reports very encouraging results in regard to treating children (9-17) afflicted with TS using behavioral intervention therapy. The study’s lead author is Dr. John Piacentini, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles.

I quoted Dr. Piacentini within my essay “Is Tourette’s Syndrome a Neurological Disorder—A Dissenting Opinion” from an article entitled “Making Sense of Tourette’s,” published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In the article, Dr. Piacentini states:

“…[Tourette’s] Patients feel the need to tic and then experience relief when they do, thus reinforcing the neural circuits involved in that behavior. To break the loop, Piacentini and his colleagues have been experimenting with behavioral techniques.” [Science; Vol 305; 3 September, 2004]

In my estimation, this clearly points to the habituating behavior evidenced by TS patients bred from repetition and subsequent reinforcement. They are defense mechanisms in accordance with classic obsessive-compulsive pathologies and are inherently psychological in nature as opposed to organic.

In an article regarding the JAMA paper which is prominently indexed on the home page of the Tourette Sydrome Association, it is reported that 52.5% of children treated with Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) evidenced significant improvement with symptoms. Most encouragingly, 87% of those patients who showed such improvement retained the benefits six months after the treatments ended attesting to the durable efficacy of CBIT. Click to continue:

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