Neurofeedback for Tourette Syndrome


Chronic Tic Disorder | Tourette Syndrome

Trial Phase

Trial Purpose and Description

Trial Purpose

This study will evaluate neurofeedback as a new treatment of Tourette Disorder or Chronic Tic Disorder. The aim of this study is to train patients to control activity in a region of their brain that has been associated with the urge to tic. Patients will be given direct feedback regarding activity in this brain area while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning, and will try to learn to control activity in the region during these feedback sessions. Participants will be compensated with $600 cash over the course of the entire study.

Participation Guidelines

11 Years - 19 Years

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion criteria:

  • diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome or Chronic Tic Disorder
  • currectly active tics
  • ability to execute most common tics without moving head while lying on back


Exclusion criteria:

  • blindness (because feedback is provided visually)
  • comorbid psychiatric disorders other than those commonly associated with Tourette Syndrome (so we do NOT exlcude people who have comorbid OCD, ADHD, or depression)
  • neurological conditions affecting central nervous system
  • change in medication in the month prior to beginning the study
  • unwillingness to keep medication stable over the course of the intervention
  • full braces (but some retainers are OK)
  • claustrophia of a degree that they cannot comfortably be scanned
  • if common tics involve dramatic changes in breathing that could alter blood oxygenation measurements
  • inabilithy to keep head still while executing most common tics
  • inability to keep head still in mock scanner
  • inability or unwillingness to understand or follow the instructions
  • pregnancy or possible pregnancy
  • subject may also be excluded after the first MRI scan if we are unable to localize a region of their supplementary motor area involved in tics - leaving us without a target area for biofeedback
Yale University
October 2012 - June 2017
Last Updated:
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