Why the Tourette Syndrome Association Should be Investigated: Special Report March 2015
TSA Sounds Off on Integrative Therapies
We completed our 10-part series on why the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) should be investigated in June 2014. In it, we outlined how, after 40 years and countless millions of dollars, the TSA has neither found the cause of this condition nor safe and effective treatments. Meanwhile, the incidence of the condition has been skyrocketing.
Further, we asserted that the TSA discourages families from pursuing non-drug approaches and has disregarded reports to them from families and physicians who found success with integrative therapies.
A new 11-minute YouTube video: TSA Roundtable Discussion on Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Tourette Syndrome (March 18, 2015) appears to be an attempt to justify TSA’s lack of positive action in this area. The panel clearly struggles with the issue, but in the end not one helpful suggestion is made for patients to help them reduce symptoms without standard drugs.
The moderator admits that families are “frightened” by drug therapies for Tourette’s, yet the viewer is repeatedly warned that integrative or complementary therapies can be dangerous and expensive.
TSA’s view of complementary therapies:
We’re told in the video that the status of integrative medicine is like the “wild, wild West” and it’s 50 to 60 years behind Western medicine. Yet ACN Latitudes often focuses on are digestive health, laboratory testing, neurotoxicity, environmental factors, diet and nutrition, chemical sensitivity, immune issues and allergy—all considered Western and contemporary the last time I checked.
While a participant says there are some helpful “nuggets” within non-drug approaches, viewers are not told what those might be.
The panel complains there are no randomized double-blind studies for alternative or complementary therapies, yet they fail to address the fact that the lack of these studies is a direct result of the TSA’s failure to encourage research in these areas. It’s a vicious cycle that TSA has appeared to be in no hurry to break.
TSA is way behind the curve
The first large study on omega-3s/fish oil and TS is touted in the video. There are already hundreds of published reports on the use of omega 3s for ADHD and depression, beginning 15 years ago.
The TSA’s effort is a belated beginning, after a previous small study they funded on fish oil that was non-conclusive due to a poor study design. But beyond that, one could question why hundreds of studies have been conducted on fish oil/omega 3s for depression and ADHD. In part, one explanation is that studies of single nutrients often end with mixed results, and the conclusion is that “more studies are needed.” A reason for this is there is not a single biomedical profile for everyone with a given diagnosis. Underlying causes of the condition and individual nutritional needs vary, and the way the body assimilates a given nutrient is complex.
The Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy and Latitudes.org have started StopTicsToday to raise funds for research that explores new and promising directions for preventing and dealing with Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders. Please see how you can help.
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*Interesting note: Roundtable participants are listed as John Walkup, MD; Samuel Zinner, MD; Tanya Murphy, MD, PhD; Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD; Jorge Juncos, MD; and Cathy Budman, MD. However, any comments that may have been made by Drs Murphy and Budman during the actual roundtable discussion are not included in this PR piece.