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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2004 Winter;14(4):582-9.

Nutritional supplements and complementary/alternative medicine in Tourette syndrome.

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BJM Consulting, New York, New York.



Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder associated with motor and vocal tics. Some people with TS have reported using alternative or complementary medicine (CAM), including nutritional supplements to control their tics. In a recent national survey, approximately 40% of people reported having used CAM in the prior year. We attempted to explore the use of supplements and other CAM among TS patients.


We developed a survey instrument based on anecdotal accounts of CAM use and distributed it to the mailing list of the New York Chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association (n=500) and the subscription list of Latitudes, a newsletter exploring CAM treatments for neurological conditions (n=750). Responses were entered in a database and analyzed using SPSS version 10.


Of 115 respondents, 87.8% reported using 1 or more of 29 nutritional supplements to control symptoms. Many also reported using other CAM. Most supplement users reported an improvement in tics.


Although these results are not generalizable, they provide no evidence that use of supplements and other CAM is rarer among TS patients than in the general population. Given that most of our respondents were also using conventional medication, further study of the use of supplements and other CAM therapies by people with TS, the safety and efficacy of such therapies in this population, and possible interactions of such therapies with conventional treatment seems warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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