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University of Sussex Research into how the brain controls movement in TS

University of Sussex Research into how the brain controls movement in TS

Posted on 12 October 2015

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STUDY NOW CLOSED

STUDY NOW CLOSED
Researchers at the University of Sussex are looking for volunteers to help with research studies investigating how the brain controls movement in Tourette Syndrome.

We think that brain regions important for controlling actions work slightly differently in people with Tourette Syndrome (TS). However, to better understand why tics occur and why they can be hard to stop, we want to gain a clearer idea of brain structure and activity in people with TS.


In this exploratory research, we will ask people with and without TS, aged 18+, to do tasks that measure movement planning and control, while we record brain activity. We are looking for volunteers to participate in studies at the University of Sussex using two types of brain scanning:


The first type of scanning is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this brain scan we will ask you to lie on a bed with your head positioned in the middle of the MRI scanner. We will take some structural pictures of your brain that tell us about the strength of connections between the important regions for controlling movements. We will also measure brain activity with MRI while you do a movement control task. The MRI scan will last around 1.5 hours.


The second type of scanning involves electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). EEG uses a hairnet cap of sensors to measure your brainwaves, whilst TMS uses a burst of weak magnetic stimulation to affect activity in the region of the brain underneath very briefly for a few milliseconds. We will measure brain activity with EEG during the TMS and while you perform a movement control task. The EEG-TMS scan would last around 1.5 hours.


The brain scanning techniques are completely safe for most people. We will check if there are any health reasons why you should not take part.


At the end of the study, we can give you a picture of your brain to take home. We hope that these new studies will tell us more about why tics happen, where in the brain they come from, and why they can be hard to stop. Then in the future we can use this knowledge to develop ideas for more effective treatments.
If you are interested in taking part in the research and would like more information, please contact either
Professor Hugo Critchley h.critchley@bsms.ac.uk 01273 878336
Dr Charlotte Rae c.rae@bsms.ac.uk 01273 873787

(To find out more about Charlotte as a researcher please look at her Spotlight on Research profile)


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