BAYSIDE, N.Y. — Once every five years the most prestigious and internationally renowned scientists and medical experts on Tourette Syndrome (TS) — the complex neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements and sounds — convene to disseminate and share the latest advances and findings about this baffling condition.
As part of its basic mission to identify current research and treatment advances and to facilitate meaningful networking among basic and clinical scientists, the national Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) is sponsoring the 5th International Scientific Symposium on Tourette Syndrome from June 12-14 at the Downtown Marriott in New York City.
Since the last such Symposium in 2004, numerous advances have been made in both understanding the biological underpinnings as well as the application of new and refined approaches to clinical care. Also, due to the highly complex scientific and treatment issues relevant to TS, the meeting program has been developed specifically to provide information that will be of interest to both basic and clinical researchers as well as allied medical practitioners. Specifically, the Symposium planning committee has chosen a series of program topics designed to set the agenda for future TS research initiatives and also with a view toward improving clinical care.
Among the critical issues to be discussed at this meeting will be the emerging and experimental procedure deep brain stimulation (DBS), the development of animal models and advances in cognitive behavioral therapy for reducing tic symptoms.
The Symposium co-chairs are Peter J. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., Purdue University; Jonathan Mink, M.D., Ph.D., University of Rochester Medical Center and John T. Walkup, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The Steering Committee which developed the program schedule is chaired by Kevin Black, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine.
The Symposium faculty will present on genetics, neuroimaging, neuropathology, clinical trials (medication and behavioral), epidemiology, neurophysiology, neuro-immunology and descriptive/diagnostic clinical science. Invited speakers are highly renowned experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard University, University College London, Yale University School of Medicine, UCLA, as well as physicians from Israel, Sweden and the Netherlands. Anticipated attendance at the Symposium will exceed 200 national and international registrants.
The TSA Early Career Research Award will be presented to the TSA grant recipient Nicole Calakos, M.D., Ph.D for her work on synaptic and circuit level insights for TS and OCD using mouse models. In addition, the TSA Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Joseph Jankovic, M.D., in recognition of his many decades of outstanding contributions to TS research, professional education and clinical care for all people touched by TS.
“The perception of Tourette Syndrome has gone from being a curiosity and considered a very rare disorder to one that is increasingly recognized as being an important neurobehavioral condition,” said Dr. Walkup, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Chair of TSA’s national Medical Advisory Board. “Scientific and medical researchers are devoting more and more effort to understanding this unique disorder which has both neurological and psychiatric aspects,” he added.
Marked by involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics, Tourette Syndrome is an inherited neurological condition frequently misunderstood and misdiagnosed, affecting more than 200,000 Americans. Founded in 1972, the national Tourette Syndrome Association celebrates 37 years of service to the TS community as the only national, voluntary health organization for people with TS. For more information visit http://tsa-usa.org.