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Dr. Nicole Danforth

Nicole Danforth, MD

Dr. Nicole Danforth: TSC and mental health issues often go hand in hand, and are also quite under diagnosed, and under-recognized, both in providers and certainly in families, and people who suffer from TSC. Studies certainly vary, in terms of what the incidence of behavioral problems or psychiatric diagnoses are in TSC. In many studies, it's somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of people with TS will have behavioral difficulties. We see a range of different difficulties. Some of which fall in the psychiatric diagnosis realm and some of which are just behavioral problems. And they include autistic types of behaviors. So a lack of real social reciprocity, perhaps stereotypic movements, a lack of play. Impaired communication is quite common. We see a lot of ADHD type behaviors. We often see anxiety disorders in children as well as adults. We might see mood disorders. Sleep problems are quite common as are aggressive behaviors, both aggression toward others or self-injurious behaviors. And it's quite a variety, which makes both recognition and treatment a little bit difficult.