SOMERVILLE, NJ – Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey (TSANJ), in collaboration with UMDNJ Medical Schools and Rutgers University, announces the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome. Initial funding for the project was provided by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
The Center, which started serving families this past July, provides a much-needed diagnosis and treatment resource for the thousands of New Jersey families with Tourette Syndrome, an often misdiagnosed and misunderstood neurological disorder that, according to Yale University research can affect as many as on in one hundred individuals. That translates to over 80,000 in New Jersey experiencing at least mild TS symptoms. Many people with TS also exhibit signs of related neurological disorders, such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Rage Syndrome and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Depression and Learning Disabilities.
Providing oversight to the operation of the New Jersey Center is Psychiatrist, Dr. Cathy L. Budman, an internationally recognized expert in Tourette Syndrome, interim medical director of the program. Dr. Cathy Budman is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at New York School of Medicine Department of Psychology. She also serves as a member of the National Tourette Syndrome Association medical advisory board and is on the steering committee of the International Tic Consortium. Dr. Budman is a member of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Research Center and a consultant with DAYNA International, a school intervention program for Tourette Syndrome. Dr. Budman has received and been the site manger for several grants in researching Tourette Syndrome. She is a well published author of articles and handbooks on Tourette Syndrome.
Under the leadership of Dr. Budman, the Center will offer a comprehensive approach to the treatment of TS with an innovative method of providing support to the families of those afflicted with the disorder. Services provided will include: Medical diagnosis and treatment; Psychiatric and psychological services; Educational testing services; Coordinated patient care among partner and community organizations throughout the state; Educational training in UMDNJ medical schools and the Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology; Professional and educational training for practicing physicians and educators and allied professionals.
“Individuals afflicted with Tourette Syndrome are historically underserved, not just in New Jersey but around the world,” states Dr. Budman. “The period of time from onset to diagnosis takes far to long and once diagnosed, treatment options are very limited. The Center will not only provide support for individuals and families, but we expect to advance research initiatives to isolate the ultimate cure.”
In addition to serving the medical and psychological needs of TS families, the Center will become a recruitment resource for TS patients and families willing to participate in controlled research studies into the causes and effective treatments of TS and associated disorders.