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Self-Hypnosis May Help Kids Better Manage Tourette Syndrome

Self-hypnosis taught with the aid of videotape training was found to reduce the symptoms of Tourette syndrome in children and adolescents and improve their quality of life, according to research published in the Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics.

In the study, Jeffrey Lazarus, MD, and Susan Klein, MD, PhD, reviewed the files of 37 children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome who were referred for self-hypnosis training to aid in tic control. As part of the training, subjects were shown video clips of a young boy undergoing self-hypnosis training for tic control.

They found that 79% of participants experienced short-term clinical response, which was defined as control over a six-week follow-up period. Of the responders, 46% achieved tic control with self-hypnosis after just two sessions and 96% achieved control after three visits. Only one patient required four visits, the researchers noted.

Lazarus and Klein concluded that instruction in self-hypnosis, “aided by the use of videotape training, augments a protocol and probably shortens the time of training in this technique.” This method could serve as a “a valuable addition to multi-disciplinary management of tic disorders in Tourette syndrome.”

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