Is There Any Help for Tourette Tics?

Q My 15 year old son has Tourette Syndrome and also obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has no other known health problems but cannot attend regular school because he cannot stay focused and we refused to put him on all the drugs they recommend. So we presently home school him. He does have food allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, dairy. So he is on a gluten- and casein-free diet. Physically, he is nearly 6 ft tall with a body size on the thin side. Do you recommend any particular supplement that might be useful to alleviate his tics? He does not have verbal outbursts just physical tics.

GENE, Frederick, MD

A While we are not permitted to recommend any of our products—Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a disease and the FDA prevents any supplement from stating that it can diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease—it did come to our attention that a trial is currently underway in Spain called “New therapeutic approach to Tourette Syndrome in children based on a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind phase IV study of the effectiveness and safety of magnesium and vitamin B6.”

Published in 2009 in Trials; 10:16, this study is designed to determine if the two supplements can reduce motor and phonic tics and incapacity in cases of exacerbated TS among children aged 7–14 years, as measured on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. The full text is available at:

We suggest that you acquire this paper and provide it to your physician.

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