UCLA Professor Helps with Development of New Behavioral Treatment

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UCLA Professor Helps with Development of New Behavioral Treatment
Credit: STACEY BURLING via philly.com
Dr. John Piacentini, Ph.D., ABPP., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at David Geffen Medical School at UCLA contributed his expertise to completion of a team effort. That effort led to development of something called Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention (CBIT). That Intervention has been proven effective as a treatment for Tourette Syndrome.
Intended for introduction prior to the utilization of any medications, CBIT provides doctors with valuable time. Doctors can use that added time to observe the patient’s progress. That progress offers a clue to the efficacy of the CBIT-guided therapy. That therapy focuses on what is known as habit reversal. In other words, it seeks to reverse the typical habits in a patient with Tourette syndrome. Normally, such a patient feels rewarded after carrying out an action called a tic. With CBIT’s help, a patient’s desire to perform such tics vanishes.
What is the trick to removal of those tics?
The treated patients learn to recognize the urge to display their usual behavior, and respond by carrying out a different sort of action. It might involve breathing, in order to control the mouth, or grabbing the wrist, in order to control the arm. Because CBIT’s effects can be hard to detect, another approach gets used to supplement the reversal of the patients’ habits. That approach calls for lowering the level of stress in the patients’ lives. At the same time, patients learn how to change their response to stress.
The new treatment gets used for 8 to 12 weeks. If the treating doctor fails to detect a response, one or more of the traditional medications gets used. Unfortunately, not all of the young people that display the distinctive tics can benefit from the existence of the new Behavioral Intervention. That is due to the fact that only a limited number of health care professionals have been trained to carry out such interventional activities (CBIT).
Source: philly.com

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