A Fix For A Neurological Disease

This entry was posted by Thursday, 19 December, 2013
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Cartoon relating to Tourette's Syndrome

HOPELESS!

 

 A POSSIBLE FIX FOR TOURETTE’S SYNDROME

The  headline was originally KIDS WITH TICKS.

I changed it. I didn’t want to sound like a jerk.

A jerk? That’s what we call an insensitive clod? Jerk?

We bad.

Kids with Tourette Syndrome get “tics”. They are are caused by nerves that are too sensitive – hyperexcitable. Tourette’s kids can’t keep hands, feet, arms, legs, head from twitching or jerking. Sometimes Tourette’s causes vocal tics which can result in embarrassing noises or even in saying things that piss people off. Sometimes strings of profanity pop up.

Shit, shit, shit! (Imagine the consequences!)

The exact science behind Tourette’s has been elusive.  But researchers at The University of Nottingham (Journal of Neuropsychology) are tracking it down. They find that a particular piece of the brain, the “striatum”, is in overdrive in these kids which causes the  brain’s cortex to be bombarded with too many signals and too much stimulation. Their work has lead to the idea of using an electromagnetic stimulation device (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation ) to suppress the excess excitation.

WHAT’S GOOD

The good thing is that this basic approach to the science behind Tourette’s seems to be unearthing the mechanism behind it. And, if all goes well, kids with Tourrette’s might be able to get fixed up without drugs. Just by applying an electromagnetic device to their heads for a few minutes a day.

This is all very exciting.

WHAT’S BAD

What’s bad is that we’re not there yet. This work is ongoing. More to be done. Maybe a device has to get approved by regulatory agencies. And kids don’t stay kids forever. We need this thing. MISTER ScienceAintSoBad is hoping for fast progress.

 

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That drawing is mine.

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