Making an Echo

I’ve just read an interesting article in the New Scientist about some research into an aspect of Tourettes that’s very familiar to me. Researchers at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf have been able to simulate an element of Tourettes called echopraxia in people who don’t have the condition.

Echopraxia is a feature of Tourettes (and of some other neurological conditions) where tics mimic other people’s movements and gestures. Amazingly the researchers were able to simulate this behaviour temporarily in people without the condition.

They did this by stimulating a region of the brain called the supplementary motor area (SMA) using strong magnetic pulses, and they found that 1 in 3 participants exhibited Echopraxia as a result.

Studies like this are important because they help chip away at the many mysteries of Tourettes and improve understanding of the brain.

This research also offers a glimmer of hope to those people who don’t have Tourettes, but who long to tic.

2 responses to Making an Echo

  1. Catwings says:

    Do you find many people long to tic? I was having a discussion with a fellow Touretter the other day about impairment fetishists & wannabes and we were saying we’d not heard of any regarding TS but were wondering if they were out there. Wondering from that phrase whether you’ve come across any?

  2. I was thinking mainly of the many comments I’ve seen online by people lazily saying they wish they had Tourettes. I know some of my friends do admire the spontaneity and creativity of a lot of my vocal tics.

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