Investigating Tourette Syndrome in adolescence

08 Jan 2010 13:15:00.000

PA 05/10

Behavioural science experts at The University of Nottingham and the national charity Tourettes Action are to explore the experiences of young people with Tourette Syndrome (TS). This research will provide the first detailed insights into the problems young people with TS experience at school and suggest ways of tackling them.


With funding of nearly £336,000 from the Big Lottery Fund the three-year research project will explore the experiences of young people aged between 10 to 20 years old who are living with TS and develop ways to improve support, particularly in schools.


The research team will be led by Georgina Jackson, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology in the Division of Psychiatry. Professor Jackson said: “We want young people with TS to reach their full potential at school. To do this we need to talk to them about their day to day experiences of living with this condition. After these initial interviews we will start to recruit participants for the study.”

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The research at the University will involve Professor Chris Hollis and Dr Victoria Tischler, in the Division of Psychiatry, Cris Glazebrook, Professor of Health Psychology and Dr Ed Sellman in the School of Education.

TS is an inherited neurological condition. It affects one schoolchild in every hundred and more than 300,000 children and adults in the UK. The key feature is tics, involuntary and uncontrollable sounds and movements. TS starts in childhood and for about half of children with TS the symptoms continues into adulthood.

Dr Linnea Larsson, from Tourettes Action, will co-ordinate the research programme which is due to start on April 1 2010. Dr Larsson said: “Better understanding will allow the researchers to develop with Tourettes Action a training package for teachers, pupils and parents. In the longer term, young people with TS will benefit more from education and the transition to secondary school will be easier.”

If you would like to register your interest or would like to be notified of developments, please email Dr Linnea Larsson at

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Tourettes Action works to make life better for people with TS. It is the only UK-wide charity for people with TS and offers information and support, promote research into better treatments, and fights ignorance, misunderstanding and prejudice. More information can be found at

Big Lottery Fund is the joint operating name of the New Opportunities Fund and the National Lottery Charities Board (which made grants under the name of the Community Fund). Big Lottery Fund,launched on 1 June 2004, is distributing half of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK.Big Lottery Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money. To date, the two merged Funds have committed more than £5 billion to initiatives with national, regional and local partners from the public, voluntary, charity and private sectors, with a particular focus on disadvantage.

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More information is available from Professor Georgina Jackson on +44 (0)115 82 30416,; or Hillary Box at Tourettes Action, +44 (0) 207 7932354,

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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