Research Studies

Summary

This research study is for children and youth with Tourette's syndrome. We use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take pictures of the brain while children watch a movie, in order to understand how the brain is different in children with Tourette's syndrome compared to typically developing children. This is an interventional research study, which means we use two types of therapy to help children and youth decrease their tics. Participants receive 20-sessions of TMS over 5-weeks. Our preliminary research (first 5 participants) has shown really promising results to help children with Tourette's syndrome control their tics.

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Contact Information

To participate in the research study, please contact us at:

Email: brainkids@ucalgary.ca

Telephone: 403 955 2784 

Summary

We know that both genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development and severity of tic disorders. Gut microbiota, which is the collection of trillions of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, has been shown to be associated with autism spectrum disorders, stress, anxiety and depression. The gut microbiota helps to regulate how the immune system matures and how the brain develops and functions, in what is called the gut-brain axis. Because of this, we are interested in whether there is also a similar association between tic disorders and the gut microbiota. Understanding this relationship is important to improving our knowledge on tic disorders, allowing the quality of care to continue to improve in the future.

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Contact Information

To participate in the research study, please contact:

Davide Martino                                                         Tamara Pringsheim

Email: davide.martino@ucalgary.ca                        Email: tmprings@ucalgary.ca

Telephone: 403 210 8726                                       Telephone: 403 210 6877

Summary

The purpose of a registry is to collect information in order to help doctors, researchers and patients learn more about a disease or condition. This information will include data on age, gender, diagnosis, comorbid conditions and symptom severity. It will be used for research purposes, which will aid in our understanding of tic disorders. This will help us to improve upon the care and quality of life of children with tic disorders. To participate in the Tic Disorders Clinical Registry, we will record information on your child’s age, gender, diagnosis, other conditions present and the severity of their symptoms. This information is collected during typical clinic visits, but we need yours and your child’s permission to use this data in a registry for research purposes.

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Contact Information

To participate in the research study, please contact:

Tamara Pringsheim

Email: tmprings@ucalgary.ca

Telephone: 403 210 6877

Summary

If your child is prescribed a second generation antipsychotic (SGA) medication as part of their routine care, they may be eligible to participate in this study. Antipsychotics medications are effective, but can also have side effects, such as weight gain, increased blood glucose, higher blood cholesterol levels, and involuntary movements. Recent studies have shown that the use of dietary fiber can help to reduce weight in overweight children. We would like to test if the use of dietary fiber can help prevent antipsychotic related weight gain in children.  Our study involves the use of a daily fiber supplement, oligofructose-enriched inulin.  We will measure weight gain in children taking this dietary fiber supplement and compare it to weight gain in children previously seen in our program who did not receive this supplement.

Fibrous food on a table
Doctor using a telephone, looking at a screen

Contact Information

To participate in the research study, please contact:

Tamara Pringsheim

Email: tmprings@ucalgary.ca

Telephone: 403 210 6877

Summary

One potential, understudied treatment for TS is transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). tDCS uses small electrical currents to change how a particular area of the brain works. A previous study case of two adults study found a reduction in tics after 5 sessions of tDCS. Our aim is to extend our knowledge on the use of tDCS for the treatment of TS in a larger sample of adolescents and adults. We will explore the effects of tDCS on tics with the use of clinical assessments, questionnaires, MRI, and 5 tDCS sessions. If you decide to consent to your child’s participation in this study and the study team finds that he/she is eligible to participate, you will have to sign this consent form. Your child will be asked to complete five consecutive in-person visits followed by an additional in-person visit one week after the last tDCS session completion, and a phone interview one month later.

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Contact icons

Contact Information

To participate in the research study, please contact:

Davide Martino                                                         

Email: davide.martino@ucalgary.ca                        

Telephone: 403 210 8726