Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Tourette Patients Benefit From Behavioral Therapy


"Typically, medication has been used to treat tics," explained study author Sabine Wilhelm, director of the OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and Related Disorders Program at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. "But many patients refuse or discontinue medications due to unwanted side effects." "Behavior therapy," Wilhelm said, "takes a different approach from medication. Patients often report a premonitory urge -- that's an unpleasant sensation -- prior to engaging in the tic, and they engage in tics in order to relieve the urge. Behavior therapy helps patients to disrupt this pattern. In behavior therapy, patients learn to detect signs that a tic will likely occur and they are taught to engage in competing responses, which are behaviors that are physically incompatible with the impending tic. Thus, patients learn new ways to manage their tics." more

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