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Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome - Other Topics, Problem Areas, and Disorders: What is the connection between red hair and Tourette syndrome? Tourette syndrome is a chronic, idiopathic, childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorder ...

 

  1. #1

    Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    What is the connection between red hair and Tourette syndrome?

    Tourette syndrome is a chronic, idiopathic, childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorder with both motor and vocal tics. Tourette syndrome occurs worldwide and the clinical features are similar irrespective of the country of origin, with genetic causes suspected, but to date not proven.

    A link between red hair colour and Tourette syndrome has been hypothesised as a result of an observation that red hair is over represented in this condition. A causal association between red hair and melanocortin-1 receptor has been shown, and is the only gene that is known to explain physiological variation in human pigmentation. Melanocortins are believed to be involved in many disease states including pigmentary disorders, adrenal disorders, obesity, anorexia, prolonged and neuropathic pain, and inflammatory response. The mode of inheritance for Tourette syndrome is thought to be autosomal recessive (????) , same as for red hair with both aggregating in families .

    To explore the hypothesis, 168 postal questionnaires sent to Tourette syndrome patients on the registry of the ‘Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia’, were analysed. In this study 22, 13% (95% CI 8.9-19.4) of the Tourette syndrome population had red hair. Data from Australian studies suggests, the normal population with red hair is 2–6%. The proportions of red haired individuals in this study were significantly higher than five of the eight population control groups. Fifty five percent of the Tourette syndrome patients had relatives with red hair. Of these 30% were first degree and 46% were second degree relatives, with a further 24% of more distant relatives. Many Tourette syndrome patients had multiple red haired relatives, since 90 patients yielded a total of 181 relatives with red hair.

    If this hypothesis is correct the MCIR gene, through a neurological effect, or a gene for Tourette syndrome, located on chromosome 16 in the vicinity of MC1R, could be on the causal pathway. As these figures demonstrate, the hypothesis that there is an association between red hair and Tourette syndrome needs further evaluation.
    Last edited by Daniel; September 10th, 2010 at 02:56 PM. Reason: added link to source

  2. Members who thanked usul for this post:

    Daniel (September 10th, 2010)

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  4. #2
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    re: Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    Interesting

    The mode of inheritance for Tourette syndrome is thought to be autosomal recessive (????) , same as for red hair with both aggregating in families .
    In case you don't know/remember about recessive traits:

    Autosomal recessive: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #3

    Re: Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    Interesting. I read another article recently noting a common observation among medical professionals that patients with red hair require more anesthesia that others.

  6. #4

    Re: Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    Interesting

    In case you don't know/remember about recessive traits:
    thanks for your reply...

    in fact i was highlighting the comment concerning the recessive trait of tourette syndrome... i thought it was not as there is around 50% of offsprings that inherit the syndrome from their parents and show some caracteristics such as TS, chronic tics or OCD..

    did i miss anything on the inheritance mode of TS ?

  7. #5

    Re: Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    Hm, my grandmother and quite a number of my cousins and uncles and aunts have red hair and me, who has at best only a slightest tint of red in my beard, am the one with Tourette's.

  8. #6

    Re: Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    my son has TS+++ and our family, on both sides, is crawling with red heads???? very interesting!!! thanks for the post.

  9. #7
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    Re: Red hair and Tourette Syndrome

    Hello Rhonda!

    I will be offline for a couple of weeks, but I hope to be able to discuss your son's Tourette in the future. I am diagnosed with Tourette and am keenly interested in this fascinating disorder.

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