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Correlations Found Between Tourette and Hearing

Monday, February 13, 2017 12:15:55 PM Australia/Melbourne

Correlations Found Between Tourette and HearingAs discussed previously on the Hearlink blog, it’s amazing to learn the relationships between different aspects of our health. Who knew that the amount of water you intake, could directly impact your breathing capacity? Who knew that a certain diet could mean extending the years of your life? The body is amazing, isn’t it? Today, we learn about a new relationship- between Tourette Syndrome (also known as TS) and certain degrees of hearing strength or loss.


For those unfamiliar, Tourette Syndrome is a neuro-developmental disorder. Its most apparent symptom is tics of both the motor and vocal variety. You may see these as unexpected vocals and movements that those impacted can’t stop. It’s more common than you’d think, one in every 100 children are impacted.


New studies show that children who suffer from Tourette Syndrome, actually process language faster than those who are not impacted by Tourette Syndrome. These studies come from all over the world, they come from scientists at Newcastle University in the UK and they come from Johns Hopkins, Northwestern and Georgetown in the United States. They specifically target phonology, which is how we take different sounds and assemble them into words. You can check out these studies in depth in the September 2016 edition of Brain and Language, a journal specializing in cognitive development studies.


The study was composed of 27 children. 13 of them had been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. 14 of them had not. All of the children were between the ages of eight and 16. Facilitators asked each of the participating children to repeat a set of words. The catch? All of the words were made up. One example was naichovabe, not a word that you would casually integrate in your daily vocabulary, right? In fact, take the time right now to sound it out. What your brain is doing is taking apart the word and sorting out where you think the different sounds belong. Made up words made much more sense for this study because they were unfamiliar to the participants, and formulating the word was not as turnkey as a word that you would find in a general dictionary. All of the participants were able to repeat the word, but those impacted by Tourette were able to do it much more quickly.


So why is this? The researchers involved in the study believe that the relationship is due to an abnormality in the brain that is part of the foundation of Tourette Syndrome. It’s an important finding and may be the catalyst for future scientific breakthroughs. After all, this strength could parlay into other advantages that the test subjects experience in early cognitive development. It can also be telling as audiologists and scientists in general strive to paint a comprehensive picture of Tourette syndrome. Only with all of the pieces of the puzzle, can treatments be successfully developed. In the ever-evolving quest for professionals in any scientific field to find treatments and solutions, Hearlink is inspired by studies like this.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin