a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 562.1 Guest: Dr. John Walkup, Psychiatrist, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Topic: Tourette Syndrome Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Changing focus on Tourette Syndrome....coming up...

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association... fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Tourette Syndrome creates motor and vocal tics in its victims, a constant social strain... Dr. John Walkup of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions says Tourette appears before 15 years of age, just part of what makes it a model disorder for study...

WALKUP: You have a disorder that's developmental, has biological pieces to it, has environmental pieces to it, and also has kind of a strong genetic component to it.

NEMA: The involuntary movements and sounds can be muted with medication.. but Dr. Walkup believes there's a shift in focus...

WALKUP: ...there's just been an increased awareness that the tics themselves are really not the most impairing condition...that other conditions like Attention Deficit Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder...and sometimes even major depression or other anxiety disorders....are the conditions that really impair people's functioning with Tourette Syndrome.

NEMA: Dr. John Walkup of Johns Hopkins says there's a shift in emphasis away from medication, and toward social and psychological interventions. Contact the National Tourette Syndrome Association at 718-224-2999. I'm Steve Girard for The Heart of the Matter.