Neurofeedback for Tourette Syndrome


The aim of this study is to train patients with tic disorders to control activity in a region of their brain that has been associated with the urge to tic. Patients will be given direct feedback regarding activity in this brain area while they are undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning, and will try to learn to control activity in the region during these feedback sessions. In separate sessions, patients will be given sham feedback based on the brain patterns of a prior subject rather than their own brain patterns. Our primary hypothesis is that the biofeedback training will reduce their tic symptoms more than the sham feedback.

Study Start Date

October 2012

Estimated Completion Date

June 2017


  • Procedure: Sham feedback
  • Procedure: Neurofeedback


  • Neurology: Movement Disorders
  • Physician Assistant: Neurology

MeSH Terms

  • Neurofeedback
  • Tourette Syndrome

Study ID

Yale University -- 0206017435



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase


Enrollment Quota



Yale University

Inclusion Criteria

  • Diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome or Chronic Tic Disorder
  • currently active tics
  • aged 11-19
  • ability to execute most common tics without moving head while lying on back

Exclusion Criteria

  • Blindness (because feedback is provided visually)
  • Lifetime diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychotic disorder.
  • Presence of any serious psychiatric or psychosocial condition requiring initiation of new treatment or change in current treatment.
  • Neurological conditions affecting central nervous system
  • Change in medication in the month prior to beginning the study
  • Unwillingness to keep medication stable over the course of the intervention
  • Full braces (but some retainers are OK)
  • Claustrophobia of a degree that they cannot comfortably be scanned
  • If common tics involve dramatic changes in breathing that could alter blood oxygenation measurements
  • Inability to keep head still while executing most common tics
  • Inability to keep head still in mock scanner
  • Inability or unwillingness to understand or follow the instructions
  • Pregnancy or possible pregnancy
  • Subjects may also be excluded after the first magnetic resonance scan if we are unable to localize a region of their supplementary motor area involved in tics - leaving us without a target area for biofeedback.




11 Years to 19 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Study Locations and Contact Information (2)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
Yale University School of Medicine - New Haven, Connecticut 18.1 miles None None None
Yale University School of Medicine - New Haven, Connecticut 18.1 miles None None None provides clinical trial listings in an easy to view format. All clinical trial information is pulled directly from This website does not guarantee acceptance into any clinical trial, and is not responsible for adverse events that may be incurred from a clinical trial.