Critical Research Into Children And Young People With Tic Disorders
Affecting 1 in 100 children in Australia, tic disorders are the most prevalent movement disorder in children. Children with tics suffer from repeated, sudden, rapid, non-rhythmic movements which can also include sounds or vocalizations. 80-90% of children with tic disorders, are afflicted by other coexisting conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and depressive disorders.
A collaborative research previously published in Movement Disorders by Kids Neuroscience Centre - Prof Russell Dale, Dr Paula Bray and Senior Occupational Therapist at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Ms Nicolette Soler, reported that children with tic disorders in the presence of comorbidity have significantly greater sensory dysregulation, reduced executive function and quality of life. The research also highlighted the unmet need for a better outcome measurement tool as patients reported many debilitating sensory symptoms and difficulties that current existing measures are not accurately capturing.
Ms Soler who has been awarded the Health Education &Training Institute (HETI) Mental Health Research Award 2020 will be conducting further research into a novel and innovative treatment approach for children and young people with tics. A key part of her research is also aimed at developing a tool that is specifically designed to capture the symptoms and difficulties patients are experiencing which will ultimately allow clinicians to better understand the daily functional impairment and therefore be able to provide a better intervention plan.