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Reduced specificity of autobiographical memories in young people with tic disorders Victoria Pile, Sally Robinson, Elystan Roberts, Marta Topor, Tammy Hedderly, Jennifer Y.F. Lau

Posted on 21 May 2018 by Helen Robbins


Research study shows a link between memory, depression and Chronic Tic disorders and Tourette Syndrome

Research shows us that depression in Tourette Syndrome and Chronic Tic disorders (TS/CTD) is really common. We know that there are certain thinking styles that make people more likely to develop depression. In particular, the way in which we remember events in our lives seems very important to understand why some people might be more likely to develop depression.

Specific memories are memories that identify unique events that take place at a particular time and place. For example, if you are asked to give me a memory to the word “grass”, you might say a memory that is specific (e.g. we had a picnic on the grass last Saturday) or you might say a more general memory (e.g. I cut the lawn every two weeks or I developed hay fever last summer). Having more general memories has been linked to depression.

In this project, we found that young people with TS/CTD have more general memories, compared to other young people their age. We also found that having general memories for positive events was linked with symptoms of depression. This may be partly because general memories do not evoke the same level of emotion as specific memories, so the person may experience less positive emotion.

This is important as it helps us to understand why depression is more common in people with TS/CTD and to develop psychological techniques that could prevent the development of depression.


If you have any questions regarding this research please contact Tourettes Action's Research Manager:

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