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Search for the Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior Genes

By: David E. Comings, M.D.

In Search for the Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior Genes Dr. Comings tells the story of his years of involvement with the Tourette Syndrome, from both the level of treating thousands of patients with this common and complex disorder, to his clinical, genetic and molecular genetic research. He quickly realized this was more than just a tic disorder. His patients and their relatives had problems with a wide range of behaviors including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, conduct and oppositional defiant disorder, rages, mania, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, sexual, sleep, and other disorders. Because Tourette syndrome is genetic, this involvement with a spectrum of disorders had broad implications about the causes of behaviors that most mental health workers attributed to psychological problems, poor parenting, or learned behaviors. His genetic studies led him to eventually conclude that Tourette syndrome was a polygenic disorder, caused by the coming together from both parents of a number of genes affecting dopamine, serotonin and other brain chemicals. Dr. Comings relates how the concept that many human behavioral disorders were genetically interrelated was initially ridiculed. These attitudes began to change as others reported similar findings and as this concept gained support from molecular genetic studies of specific genes.

Table of Content

  • Foreward by: John Ratey, M.D.
  • Table of Contents
  • A Note About Reading This Book
  1. Introduction
  2. Before Tourette Syndrome
  3. The XYY Affair
  4. The Early Years
  5. The Exhibitionist
  6. The Genetics of TS
  7. Conduct Problems in Tourette Syndrome
  8. ADHD and Tourette Syndrome
  9. The Controlled Study
  10. Serotonin and Tryptophan
  11. The Visual Field Studies
  12. The Pauls Letter
  13. The Presidential Address
  14. The Arno Episode
  15. The Controlled Family History Studies
  16. Is the TDO2 Gene the "Alcoholism Gene"?
  17. The Book
  18. The Hypothetical Gts Mutation
  19. The American Psychiatric Association TS Symposium
  20. The Dopamine Receptors and the "Alcoholism Gene"
  21. The Other Tryptophan Gene
  22. The Rebuttals of the Non-Believers
  23. The Regulatory Region at Last
  24. The GREs
  25. The Trip to South Africa
  26. The Summer of '91
  27. The Frustration Continues
  28. The Dopamine Receptor Studies Revisited
  29. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  30. Drug Addiction
  31. A Gene for Obesity
  1. A Gene for Height
  2. The Dopamine D3 Receptor Gene
  3. Polygenic Inheritance
  4. SIDS
  5. The Genetic Loading Technique
  6. Yale "Confirms" Our Findings
  7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome - A Genetic Disorder?
  8. The Gts Genes and Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  9. The Genetics of Sexual Behavior
  10. The Genetics of Conduct Disorder
  11. The Genetics of Depression
  12. Tourette Syndrome as a Spectrum Disorder
  13. Selection for the Gts Genes
  14. Dopamine Receptor Genes and Smoking
  15. Pathological Gambling
  16. Monoamine Oxidase
  17. Cancer Genes and Human Behavior
  18. A Marker of the TDO2 Gene
  19. Searching for the "Real" TDO2 Mutation
  20. The TDO2 Mutations in Patients
  21. The Yale Group Claims Depression and Anxiety Are Not Related to Gts Genes
  22. The Dopamine Receptor Gene in Tourette Syndrome - Again
  23. Dopamine b-Hydroxylase
  24. The Dopamine Transporter Gene
  25. The Polygenic Inheritance of Behavior
  26. Epilogue
  • References
  • Appendix: Update on New Medications
  • Abbreviations, Definitions, Glossary
  • Index
Search for the Tourette Syndrome

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What Reviewers Have Said

"David Comings´ new book is ...at once a detective story, a scientific essay, and a study in the folly of human nature. It is also a love-story. This book lays bare to the reader all the intrigue and meticulous care that occupy the life of a professional gene hunter, as he recounts the history of his latest foray into uncharted territory of the human genome.."
-- John Ratey, M.D., Author of Driven to Distraction

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