Genetic sample-collecting facility now known as the National Institute of Mental Health NJCTS Sharing Repository
According to a recently published story by NJ Spotlight, New Jersey – led by the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) – is a major center for research into the cause and treatment of TS, a neurological disorder known by its tics – involuntary vocal and physical behavior often accompanied by other ills such as attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety.
That’s very true. But even more importantly, NJ Spotlight – which was awarded a 2011 Online Journalism Award for Excellence by the Online News Association – emphasizes that the NJCTS Sharing Repository at Rutgers University has been designated the nation’s TS cell repository by the National Institute of Mental Health.
The university received $1.5 million to collect DNA samples from individuals with Tourette and their families at nearly 20 sites in the United States, Europe and Asia, NJ Spotlight’s story said. These genetic samples will go to Rutgers and be made available to scientists such as Dr. Jay A. Tischfield, a Rutgers professor and the Director of the Human Genetics Institute at the university to conduct TS research worldwide.
Tischfield, who for 40 years has been doing research on mental disorders – including autism, alcoholism and addiction – says that getting more cell samples to study is critical to moving the research forward, according to the NJ Spotlight story. Tischfield has been collaborating with NJCTS for nearly five years and helped created the repository in 2007.
So far, the repository has collected samples from about 500 individuals with Tourette Syndrome and their families, mostly New Jersey residents, the NJ Spotlight story said. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Mental Health estimates that 200,000 Americans have the most severe form of Tourette Syndrome, while as many as 1 in 100 exhibit milder symptoms such as chronic motor or vocal tics. More information about the repository and TS is available by visiting www.njcts.org.
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New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, Inc.
Collaborative partnerships for the TS community.