Tourette Syndrome research needs the stories of individuals and families

By Jeff Weber
PISCATAWAY — Every day, scientists and geneticists are working to find a cure for Tourette Syndrome. What if you could actually be a part of the research taking place that could someday usher a cure into existence? You can! Join the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders’ (NJCTS) efforts and personally be part of making that happen.
Dr. Robert King, a professor of child psychiatry at the Yale University Medical School and medical director of the TS/OCD Clinic at the Yale University Child Study Center, will be at the Cell and DNA Repository at Rutgers University all day on Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, as well as Friday, February 7, to interview individuals and families interested in participating in the National Institute of Mental Health NJCTS Genetics Sharing Program.
"The major stumbling block to doing research on Tourette Syndrome has been a lack of DNA samples," according to Dr. Jay A. Tischfield, Director of the Human Genetics Institute at Rutgers University and a researcher on TS for more than 40 years. "You can’t just do research on samples from five or 10 people. You need hundreds if not thousands of samples."
Dr. King also will be taking part in a TS genetics and information workshop on Saturday, February 8, at Virtua Hospital in Voorhees. More about this workshop will be available soon. For more information about the Rutgers dates or to schedule an appointment with Dr. King, please e-mail Dr. Gary Heiman, a team leader at the repository, at familystudy@biology.rutgers.edu.
Dr. King visits Rutgers each month to conduct these interviews; this year, he also has spearheaded a grand rounds presentation for NJCTS at Monmouth Medical Center in West Long Branch and facilitated a Patient-Centered Medical Education conference at the Yale University Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn.
More information about Tourette Syndrome genetics research and the Rutgers repository is available by visiting www.njcts.org, www.tourettesyndromeresearch.org, www.rucdr.org.