Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) can assess brain function non-invasively by detecting changes in blood hemoglobin concentrations associated with neural activity with tasks like Posner’s paradigm (concerning response inhibition and attention shifts).
To develop a possible noninvasive objective neuroimaging protocol with a wearable wireless device for assessment of brain activities in children with Tourette syndrome.
Children aged 6-15 years, with TS or healthy control, received functional NIRS (task-based) with the Posner paradigm after informed consent and neuropsychiatric tests (including WISC-IV test, SNAP-IV rating scale, Yale Global Tic Severity Scale Score). Behavioral data (reaction time and error rates (omission, anticipation, orientation) and NIRS data for neural changes by changes in oxy-hemoglobin and deoxy-hemoglobin levels were recorded and statistically analyzed using the SPSS software.
20 subjects were included, 13 male and 7 female (mean age: 9.79 years; all right-handed). No significant differences in reaction time and error rate between Tourette subjects and control. For the NIRS data, more dominant activation at left prefrontal area with increasing flow with task was seen in control subjects while no dominant activation or flow increase with task was noted in Tourette subjects.
NIRS with prefrontal channels with the wearable wireless device can effectively assess the frontal activation differences and thus probably act as promising neurofeedback tools for TS or other developmental disorders like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.