The Tourette Syndrome and Pediatric Movement Disorders Program

Program Lead: Dr. Tamara Pringsheim

The Tourette Syndrome and Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic provides consultation and continuing care for children and adults with Tourette syndrome and children with movement disorders such as dystonia, tremor, cerebral palsy and complex motor stereotypies. 

Research

Research at the clinic is focused on:

  • Promoting rational and safe use of medications in children with neurodevelopmental and disruptive behaviour disorders
  • Exploring novel therapeutic strategies for tics
  • Understanding longitudinal outcomes and sensorimotor function in children with tics and tremor

Thanks to the generosity of the Owerko family and the Owerko Centre on Neurodevelopment and Child Mental Health, we received funding to support clinical research activities at the Tourette Syndrome and Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic. With this support, we have launched several new research studies.

Current studies at the clinic include:

  • The role of diet, exercise and sleep on tic severity in children with chronic tic disorders
  • Investigation of the gut microbiome in children with chronic tic disorders
  • Longitudinal outcomes in children with tics
  • Dietary fibre to reduce antipsychotic induced metabolic effects in children with tics
  • Clinical and neurophysiological characterization of essential tremor in children
  • Examination of sensorimotor function in children with tics using the KINARM 

In 2019, we received funding from the Maternal, Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network to develop the Tourette OCD Alberta Network. Currently, the only specialized clinics for children with Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder in Alberta are in Calgary at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, resulting in a provincial service delivery gap.  

The goal of the Tourette OCD Alberta Network is to increase capacity and improve access to comprehensive patient and family centered care for children and youth with TS and OCD provincewide.  We will accomplish this by providing a range of support services to patients and families, including education, support and care navigation, and by working with community-based addiction and mental health clinic health care professionals to improve their knowledge and skills in this area. Click  here to visit the site.

In addition, we are collaborating with neuroscientist Dr. Frank McMaster on a CIHR-funded randomized controlled trial of the addition of transcranial magnetic stimulation to habit reversal therapy for the treatment of tics. 

Education 

We provide training to medical students, residents in pediatrics and neurology as well as fellows in movement disorders. Residents in neurology spend time in the clinic as a part of their movement disorders rotation and residents in pediatrics during their developmental pediatrics rotation. 

Members 

Neurologists: Dr. Tamara Pringsheim, Dr. Justyna Sarna, Dr. Davide Martino

Nursing: Tracy Hammer 

Research Co-ordinator: Elaheh Nosratmirshekarlou

Clinical and Research Fellows: Dr. Nicholas Cothros, Dr. Alex Medina

(Updated December 2019)