New findings discovered by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, US has revealed that a rare genetic mutation could be the cause of tics and other abnormalities associated with Tourette’s syndrome.
Published in the journal Neuron, the study follows on from research carried out in 2010 at Yale which showed that a family with nine members suffering from Tourette’s carried a mutation in a gene called HDC that disrupts the production of histamine in the brain.
Although the latest research only stems from one family, if the mutated gene is found in other patients it would raise the possibility that existing drugs, designed to target histamine receptors in the brain, will someday help to treat all Tourette sufferers.
Tourette’s syndrome afflicts up to 1% of children, and a smaller percentage of adults, and it is a condition that is 90% genetic.
Although histamine is commonly associated with allergy relief, it also plays an important role as a...