• Oral Splint Can Reduce Tourette Syndrome Tics

    Oral Splint Can Reduce Tourette Syndrome Tics

    Researchers in Japan have developed a removable dental appliance that can reduce vocal and motor tics in children and adults who have Tourette syndrome.

    Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics.  Tics are movements of the muscles that can not be controlled.

    The ability to ameliorate tics could have a positive impact on the everyday lives of individuals with Tourette syndrome.

    While there is no cure for Tourette syndrome, several options are available to treat severe tics, however their success vary and patients still frequently suffer from physical, mental and social disabilities.

    Researchers at Osaka University developed a custom-made splint typically used for teeth clenching, grinding and TMJ.  Biting down on this device immediately improved both motor and vocal tics in 10 of the 14 children and 6 of the 8 adults who participated in the study.

    “…these effects were long lasting,  Long-term improvements in motor tics after more than 100 days were especially evident in patients who were younger when their tics first started.” -Jumpei Murakami, DDS, PhD

    While it isn’t yet clear how the oral splint exerts these effects, the action of biting down could serve as a sensory trick.  Sensory tricks are voluntary maneuvers that usually involve touching parts of the face and head and can alleviate involuntary movements.

    Read more of this study in Movement Disorders.

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