Search for the Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior Genes

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9781878267412: Search for the Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior Genes
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Dr. Comings tells the story of his 18 years of involvement with Tourette syndrome, from both the level of treating thousands of patients with this common and complex disorder, to his clinical, genetic and molecular genetic research. He quickly realized this was more than just a tic disorder. His patients and their relatives had problems with a wide range of behaviors including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD0, obsessive compulsive behaviors, conduct and oppositional defiant disorder, rages, mania, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, sexual, sleep, and other disorders. Because Tourette syndrome is genetic, this involvement with a spectrum of disorders had broad implications about the causes of behaviors that most mental health workers attributed to psychological problems, poor parenting, or learned behaviors. His genetic studies led him to eventually conclude that Tourette syndrome was a polygenic disorder caused by the coming together from both parents of a number of genes affecting dopamine, serotonin and other brain chemical. Dr. Comings relates how the concept that many human behavioral disorders were genetically interrelated was initially ridiculed. These attitudes began to change as other reported similar findings and as his concept gained support from molecular genetic studies of specific genes.

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Forward: "It is at once a detective story, a scientific essay, and a study in the folly of human nature. It is also a love-story. The book lays bare to the reader all the intrigue and meticulous care that occupy the life of a professional gene hunter, as Dr. Comings recounts the history of his latest foray into uncharted territory of the human genome. He was, and is, a hard scientist who got caught by his work as a clinician. David Comings moved into the study of Tourette syndrome, this strange condition of twitching and shouting, after a long and illustrious career exploring the genetics of better-understood, more clear-cut problems. He and others had long been convinced that there was a simple, straightforward genetic basis for this disorder."

John Ratey, M.D., Author of Driven to Distraction, Answers to Distraction, and The Neuropsychiatry of Behavioral Disorders.

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"The one feature about Tourette syndrome that fascinated us from the very beginning was the effect this gene had on conduct. Although it was the motor and vocal tics that brought these children into the clinic, it was the conduct problems that the parents complained about most bitterly. Although not present in every case, approximately half of TS children had problems with oppositional defiant disorder showing some combination of constant talking back, not taking no for an answer, short temper, rage attacks over trivial things, lying, stealing, fire starting, or aggressive behavior. As the medical half of the team, I would attempt to bring these behaviors under control with medication."

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9781878267368: Search for the Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior Genes

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ISBN 10:  1878267361 ISBN 13:  9781878267368
Publisher: Hope Pr, 1996
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