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Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to Evaluate Tourette s Syndrome

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00030953
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 15, 2002
Last Update Posted : October 6, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

Study Description
Brief Summary:

This study will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the brain to try to gain a better understanding of the disease process in Tourette s syndrome, a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics. Tourette s syndrome is also associated with behavioral and emotional disturbances, including symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). MRI and MRS show chemical substances in the brain. Findings in normal volunteers will be compared with those of patients.

Healthy volunteers and patients with Tourette s syndrome 14 years of age and older may be eligible for this study. Volunteers will be screened with a medical history and physical and neurological examinations. Patients will be screened through NINDS protocol 93-N-0202.

Participants will undergo MRI and MRS. MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to visualize brain anatomy and chemistry. For this study, the subject lies on a stretcher, which is moved into a strong magnetic field (the MRI scanner). Earplugs are worn to muffle loud thumping noises caused by the electrical switching of the radio frequency circuits. During the study, the subject lies still during each scan, for 1 to 8 minutes at a time. Total scanning time varies from 20 minutes to 2 hours, with most examinations lasting between 45 and 90 minutes. The subject can speak through an intercom with the staff member performing the study at all times during the procedure. Up to 5 studies may be performed.

Condition or disease
Tourette Syndrome

Detailed Description:


The purpose of this study is to obtain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of Tourette's Syndrome (TS) with nuclear magnetic spectroscopic imaging. The basal ganglia have been implicated in the origin of tics, and we plan to use spectroscopy to determine whether there is any neuronal degeneration or a decrease in aminobutyric acid (GABA) within the basal ganglia, thalamus, or frontal cortex of patients with TS when compared to normal individuals.


This research will be conducted using patients with TS and normal volunteers.


Patients and normal volunteers will be scanned with 3 Tesla General Electric (GE) magnetic resonance imager using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure N-acetylaspartate, choline, creatine, lactate and GABA.


Concentrations of metabolites will be compared between two groups.

Study Design

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 100 participants
Official Title: Evaluation of Tourette's Syndrome With Multimetabolite H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at 3T
Study Start Date : February 11, 2002
Estimated Study Completion Date : February 3, 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Groups and Cohorts

Outcome Measures

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   14 Years to 65 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Patients will have clinically documented TS as defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV and an evaluation of tics severity using the Yale Tic Scale.

Fourty-four patients, ranging from 14-65 in age, will be recruited. Patients and normal volunteers may be male or female; however, female subjects of child bearing potential will have a pregnancy test and an interview prior to the study to ensure that pregnant subjects will not participate in the study. Patients will be asked to stop any medication that can influence their central nervous system for one week prior to exam. They will be asked to abstain from alcohol for one week before the study.

Sixty-two normal controls will be included; controls will be screened in the NINDS Movement Disorders Outpatient Clinic. After screening and consenting, controls will have neurological and physical examinations. Controls with chronic illnesses, taking any medication that affects the CNS will be excluded. Female subjects of child bearing potential will have a pregnancy test and an interview prior to the study to ensure that pregnant subjects will not participate in the study. They will be asked to abstain from alcohol for one week before the study. More controls will be needed in order to ensure that the sequence is working prior to the acquisition of data, since the sequence has only been used in the 1.5T MRI scanner and we will be using the 3T.


Subjects younger than 14 years old.

Patients with MRI findings consistent with brain tumors, strokes, trauma or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Patients with progressive neurological disorders other than Tourette's syndrome.

Patients with a history of significant medical disorders, or who require chronic treatment with other drugs which cannot be stopped.

Subjects with implanted devices such as pacemakers, medication pumps or defibrillators, metal in the cranium except mouth, intracardiac lines, history of shrapnel injury or any other condition/device that may be contraindicated or prevent the acquisition of the MRI.

Patients with cancer.

Patients not capable of giving an informed consent.

Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00030953

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: Mark Hallett, M.D. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
More Information

Responsible Party: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00030953     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 020128
First Posted: February 15, 2002    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 6, 2017
Last Verified: February 3, 2015

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) ):
Tourette's Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome
Healthy Volunteer
Normal Control

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Tourette Syndrome
Pathologic Processes
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Tic Disorders
Movement Disorders
Heredodegenerative Disorders, Nervous System
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders