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Wear it on your wrist … British research team “Wrist device for treating Tourette Syndrome, proven effective”

Severe tic disorder, Tourette syndrome. Recently, researchers at a medical school in the UK are attracting attention by testing the effectiveness of a wrist device that can alleviate it.

According to the British BBC on the 12th (local time), a research team at the University of Nottingham announced that, as a result of a clinical trial of Neupulse, a wrist device for the treatment of Tourette Syndrome, it confirmed the effect of reducing the frequency of tics by 25% on average.

'New Pulse', a wrist device for the treatment of Tourette's Syndrome developed by the University of Nottingham and Neurotherapeutics.  Electrical pulses stop the brain activity that causes tics.  Photo = Neurotherapeutics

Developed jointly by the University and Neurotherapeutics, a new company founded by Professor Steven Jackson, a research team specializing in Tourette syndrome at Nottingham Medical School, this device can be worn on the wrist and used as a watch smart. It is a method of stopping the brain activity that causes tics by sending electrical pulses to the brain.

Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder most common in children aged 8 to 12 years. Regardless of their intention, they have a symptom of repeating simple movements and sounds called tics.

The research team conducted a clinical trial on 121 young people with tic disorders.

Randomly divided into 3 groups, one group wore a real wrist strap and the other group wore a fake wrist strap for 15 minutes once a day for a month. The other group received their usual treatment.

As a result of a total of 4 weeks of testing, the severity of tics in those who received the real wrist device was reduced by more than 35%. In addition, tic frequency was reported to be reduced by 59% of this group, and more than 25%.

The research team analyzed the severity and frequency of the tics using the Yale Tic Symptom Rating Scale and the Total Tic Severity Score. For each group, the real wrist device group reduced tic severity by an average of 7.1 points (35%) and reduced frequency by 15.6 times per minute. The group that used the fake wrist device also decreased the severity by 2.13 points and the frequency by 7.7 times, and the group that continued the treatment also decreased the severity by 2.11 points, but statistically showed a significant difference from the a real wrist device group.

Milo, a clinical participant in the 'New Pulse', a wrist device developed by the University of Nottingham and Neurotherapeutics to treat Tourette's Syndrome.  Photo = Neurotherapeutics
'New Pulse', a wrist device for the treatment of Tourette's Syndrome developed by the University of Nottingham and Neurotherapeutics.  Photo = Neurotherapeutics

Milo, 13, one of the trial participants, said, “Tourette syndrome is tiring at times. Sometimes tics disturb rest,” he said. “This device is very useful.”

So far, psychological treatment and deep brain stimulation, which stimulates the brain by sending electric current from the outside through electrodes implanted in the brain, are known to be most effective. Botox injections that freeze muscles are also used to treat Tourette’s syndrome, but are only effective for up to three months, and are difficult to see as a long-term solution.

The famous Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi also suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome. He tested a prototype of the wrist device in January and was delighted to say that “the tics in his head and shoulders have definitely stopped.”

Electronic Newspaper Internet Reporter Heewon Seo (shw@etnews.com)

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