Tourette Syndrome and Tics

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A behavioral therapy program to support parents of children with Tourette Syndrome.


Tics—involuntary, repetitive movements and vocalizations—are the primary symptoms of a group of childhood-onset neurological conditions known collectively as Tic Disorders, one of which is Tourette syndrome. The presence of tics, especially in children, can lead to long-term psychosocial issues, bullying, physical discomfort, disruptions in the classroom and a poor quality of life.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for tics, but behavioral therapy has been shown to be a safe, effective front-line treatment to reduce their severity. However, there is a nationwide shortage of trained behavioral therapists, which leads many families to travel long distances to meet with a trained therapist—often at great expense. Even when a behavioral therapist is accessible, there are often long wait lists to get an appointment.


In order to address these issues, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have developed Frontline Home-Based Behavioral Therapy for Tics, an instructional habit reversal training (HRT)-based video program and parent’s guide that a parent can utilize at home to help reduce the severity of tics in their child, between the ages of 7 to 17, who has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.


The results of a 10-week clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of this parent-administered therapy showed it to be an effective behavioral intervention. Results showed a 32.4% reduction on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and a 33.7% improvement on the Global Severity Score.

Read more in the journal Pediatric Neurology.




For 130 years, Johns Hopkins Hospital has led the way in both biomedical discovery and health care, establishing the standard by which others follow and build upon. This is one of many faculty-developed programs, protocols and services provided by Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care.

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