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Researching and running for Tourettes

Posted Mon 27th Jan 2020 at 10:29
by Marta Topor


My name is Marta Topor and I have signed up to run a half marathon for the first time. I will be part of the Tourettes Action team. So far, I have been a casual runner on rather short distance trails in a local riverside park. This time, I will run in the London Landmarks Half Marathon which takes place on the 29th of March.

I am a PhD researcher at the University of Surrey. I have been working towards the understanding of tics over the past 4 years. I have worked with children and adults throughout my experience. I am really passionate about my work and I am aiming to contribute to the improvement of understanding and support for people who experience tics. My current project investigates the processes of action control in people with tics and how they may impact emotional functioning. I am using an innovative brain activity measurement. It allows me to record brain waves during different tasks. All volunteers can see their brainwaves and even receive a picture of them!

I have undertaken the huge challenge of running the half marathon for two reasons. Firstly, I want to raise awareness of the importance of research in developing our understanding of tics. Research takes many different forms from studies looking at the brain to group discussions and questionnaires. All projects are important because they provide new information which can be used to direct future projects, to inform clinicians, therapists, schools and employers. The processes of research may sometimes seem slow and complicated, but it is our job as researchers to make sure that we take the most out of it for the benefit of people who live with tics. I would like to encourage you to support research. Some people support research by donating money but participating in research projects is equally as important – it is what makes research happen. You should consider participating in a study if you can because without participating volunteers there would be no research!

My second reason for running the half marathon is to fundraise for Tourettes Action in the aid of their projects. Tourettes Action highly value the work of researchers towards the understanding of tic conditions and improving support and resources for those who live with them. My recent work has received invaluable help from the team at Tourettes Action and I am honoured to support them in return by running the half marathon and fundraising.

My three main goals are:
- to raise money to support Tourettes Action’s projects
- to emphasise the importance of research
- to raise interest in individuals with tic conditions who may want to contribute to my work by participating in research

Here is how you can support my cause:
- You can share my story with friends to help me reach out to many people who experience tics. You can share this blog, my fundraising page or my research project page, all links are below
- If you experience tics, and you are interested in supporting research, please contact me about participating in my project
- You can sponsor my half marathon run in the aid of Tourettes Action – every donation is highly valued

My fundraising page can be accessed here

Further information about my research project can be found on my Tourettes Action project page:

… and by viewing my video:


Thank you for your support in whatever form it might be!

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