baffling brain condition frequently leads to bizarre behavior
There is no cure on the horizon for Tourettes Syndrome,
but new behavioral therapy can stop
embarrassing behavior before it starts.
UT Health Science Center's Dr. Alan Peterson says
they've come up with movements and excercises,
including mental exercises, that a patient can use
to stop the tic before it erupts.
"And they might do something like isometrically
tensing their arm against their side and holding that for a minute
or so until the urge goes away.
Relaxation training, awareness training, the most unique feature
is the use of competing responses," says Peterson of techniques
taught patients to nip the tic in the bud.
Peterson says patients are being taught to identify the moments preceding the tic
and quickly perform that exercise to squash it .... which works for 40%
He says it's a lot better than popping pills.
"This non-medication treatment results in similar
results to what a person gets with medication
but it doesn't have the side effect."