This health video looks into the different treatments for Tourette's syndrome that are available.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: As a detective, Bob Marbs is good at cracking cases and those sleuthing abilities have come in handy. Bob Marbs: I had always suspected or at least for the last 10 or 15 years that I did have Tourette's because I did a lot of reading on it. Jennifer Matthews: His suspicions were right, Bob was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome last year after 53 years of living with tics. Bob Marbs: I had a lot of eye-blinking and I would open my eyes a lot real wide. Jennifer Matthews: His tics include shoulder shrugs, clearing his throat, and excessive blinking. Doctor Kevin Black says Tourette's may be connected to the hormone dopamine in the brain. Dr. Kevin Black: There's some suggestions that there are abnormalities in the cells on the other side of the synapse, the ones that are actually releasing the dopamine. Jennifer Matthews: To test the theory, he studied the Parkinson's drug levodopa. It boosts dopamine production in the brain. In patients who received levodopa, there was a 40 percent reduction in tics. Dr. Kevin Black: This might be a new treatment alternative for people with Tourette syndrome. Jennifer Matthews: Bob is taking part in a larger study on the drug. For the study, he's not sure if he's getting the drug or not, but said he's happy to be contributing to research. Bob Marbs: The tics that I have, I'm used to, but we're not good friends. I would like to be rid of these tics and if there was a drug, and hopefully there is, I would take it, yeah. Jennifer Matthews: After 50 years, he could finally close the case. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.