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Asarina Pharma AB: new US CDC study suggests prevalence of Tourette significantly higher than previously thought

A new study by the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that 1-in-50 children in the US may be affected by Tourette or persistent tic disorders, previous estimates were 1-in-100, and that up to 450,000 U.S. children and adults have Tourette. Asarina Pharma is currently carrying out a phase IIa clinical study into Sepranolone, an endogenous neurohormonal treatment for Tourette that aims to reduce tics with no significant side effects.

A new study – ‘Estimating the number of people with Tourette syndrome and persistent tic disorder in the United States’ – has been published in the journal Psychiatry Research. The study was carried out by scientists from the Child Development and Disability Branch of the Division of Human Development and Disability at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta USA.

The study suggests that Tourette and persistent tic disorders are significantly more prevalent than previously reported. It estimates that in total 1.4 million people in the US have Tourette or significant tic disorder, including 350,000 – 450,000 Tourette cases.

One key finding estimates that 1-in-50 children (5 – 14 yrs.) may be affected by the conditions – previous estimates were 1-in-100 (Tourette Association of America.) A previous CDC study (1) found that from 2016 to 2019 1-in-333 children aged between 3–17 yrs. in the U.S. received a Tourette diagnosis, and suggested that 50% of children with TS may not be diagnosed.

Asarina Pharma CEO Peter Nordkild: “These are interesting and important findings. They confirm expert opinion that Tourette is under-diagnosed and highly likely to be more prevalent than thought. I believe that the availability of a new, safer treatment would be likely to drive diagnosis and awareness, helping more parents and children find their way towards new treatment – and a new control over their lives.”

  1. Bitsko RH, Claussen AH, Lichstein J, et al. Mental Health Surveillance Among Children – United States, 2013 – 2019 MMWR Suppl. 2022;71(2):1-48.