People who have Tourette Syndrome oftentimes utilize massage therapy and other types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)—often without their neurologists’ knowledge.

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that involves repetitive physical and verbal ticks, such as eye blinking, grimacing and throat-clearing. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 100,000 Americans have Tourette Syndrome.

For this study, 100 Tourette patients or parents completed a questionnaire on CAM use; 64 patients had used at least one CAM modality, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

CAM treatments used were:

• Prayer (28)
• Vitamins (21)
• Massage (19)
• Dietary supplements (15)
• Chiropractic (12)
• Meditation (10)
• Diet alterations (nine)
• Yoga (nine)
• Acupuncture (eight)
• Hypnosis (seven)
• Homeopathy (six); and
• EEG biofeedback (six).

Fifty-six percent of patients using CAM reported some improvement; 80 percent of users initiated CAM without informing their doctor.

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