Baylor College of Medicine and Texas A&M University have been jointly designated as one of 10 national Tourette Syndrome Association Centers of Excellence to improve high-level care for people living with the disorder.
Tourette syndrome is neurodevelopmental condition that affects both children and adults, causing them to make sudden, uncontrollable movements and/or sounds called tics (e.g. blinking, grimacing, head and arm jerking, shoulder shrugging, sniffing, throat clearing and grunting). Non-tic features, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning difficulties, often develop in affected individuals.
“We are honored to have been named as a Center or Excellence by the national Tourette Syndrome Association. This prestigious designation recognizes our long-standing record of expert and compassionate care and innovative research into this neurobehavioral disorder,” said Dr. Joseph Jankovic, professor of neurology and Distinguished Chair in Movement Disorders at Baylor and director of the Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic.
The Center of Excellence is a joint partnership between clinical researchers at Baylor and Texas A&M University and the Tourette Syndrome Association Texas Chapter. Goals of the Texas center and the other national Centers of Excellence are to facilitate the development of high-quality, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary care approaches for the field. Designated centers also will seek to advance research and improve understanding and build awareness of the conditions among patients, care providers and the general public.
“The designation of Tourette Syndrome Association Centers of Excellence in communities across the country, particularly in underserved areas, is crucial to our mission,” said Annetta Hewko, president of the Tourette Syndrome Association. “Today, there is no standard model of care for Tourette’s or Tic Disorders. Our aim is to partner with the Centers of Excellence to set these standards and increase access to informed, evidence-based treatment, compassionate care and guidance. We are genuinely excited to launch this initiative. It can significantly impact our mission to serve to all people affected by Tourette’s and Tic Disorders.”
In addition to Baylor and Texas A&M, the other designated Tourette Syndrome Association Centers of Excellence are:
- Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.
- Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Ga.; Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C.; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ala.; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, N.Y.; North Shore/Long Island Jewish Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y.
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass.
- Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, Summit, N.J.; New Jersey Center for TS, Somerville, N.J.; Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Conn.
Besides the just-designated Tourette Syndrome Association Center of Excellence, Baylor’s Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic also is a Center of Excellence for the National Parkinson Foundation and the Huntington Disease Association of America.