Using animal models to develop therapeutics for Tourette Syndrome

Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Dec;108(3):281-93. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2005.05.003. Epub 2005 Jun 20.


The science of Tourette Syndrome (TS) is advancing at multiple levels of analysis and will be enhanced through the use of animal models. Particular challenges in the development of TS animal models reflect complex features of this disorder, including its waxing and waning course and its "invisible" sensory and psychic symptoms. Animal models can achieve face, predictive, or construct validity based on their particular features. Predictive validity, of most direct relevance to drug development for TS, is achieved to some degree by a several animal models, although the reliance of most of these models on measures of motor suppression may ultimately limit their utility. Other models achieve construct validity with proposed pathophysiological mechanisms related to the immune and neural circuit etiologies of TS. One model-deficient sensorimotor gating of the startle reflex-is discussed in terms of its present and future applications towards advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of TS. In addition to models that will advance the pharmacotherapy of TS, other animal models may enhance the utility of nonpharmacologic TS treatments, ranging from behavior therapy to deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Tourette Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Tourette Syndrome* / therapy