for people ages 10-17 (full criteria)
at San Diego, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Deanna Greene, PhD



Tourette Syndrome and Persistent Motor/Vocal Tic Disorder affect 1-3% of youth and can be associated with impaired functioning, emotional and behavioral problems, physical pain, diminished quality of life, and peer victimization. Chronic tics are the primary symptom. Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) is a manualized treatment focused on tic management skills. During the core CBIT procedure, competing response training, patients learn to inhibit tics by engaging in a competing motor action. The overall objective of this study is to identify bio-behavioral predictors and correlates of response and the most potent aspects of CBIT. Participants with chronic tics will complete a manualized course of 8-session CBIT. Neural, behavioral, psychosocial, and global functioning will be assessed longitudinally to examine predictors and correlates of response. CBIT sessions will be video recorded. CBIT process will be measured with a video-based behavioral coding scheme that will be refined and validated during years 1-2 using archival CBIT videos


Tourette Syndrome, Persistent Tic Disorder, Tic Disorders, CBIT


You can join if…

Open to people ages 10-17

  • Age 10-17 years at time of enrollment.
  • Current chronic motor and/or vocal tics, defined as tics for at least 1 year without a tic-free period of more than 3 consecutive months. Tics must not be due to a medical condition or the direct physiological effects of a substance.
  • At least moderate tic severity, defined as a Yale Global Tic Severity Scale total score ≥14 (≥9 for those with motor or vocal tics only).
  • Full scale IQ greater than 70.
  • Child participant required to have English fluency to ensure comprehension of study measures and instructions.
  • To increase external validity of findings, we will include participants taking psychotropic medications that have been stable for 6 weeks and expect to remain stable for the study period. Individuals receiving non-tic related psychotherapy involving procedures that overlap with CBIT can be eligible to participate if they refrain from receiving treatment once enrolled through the post-treatment assessment. All concurrent treatments will be monitored.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Inability to undergo MRI (e.g., metal in body, claustrophobia, orthodontia) and/or EEG.
  • Active suicidality Previous diagnosis of psychosis, cognitive disability, or structural brain disease that in the investigator opinion would impede participation.
  • History of seizure disorder
  • Active substance abuse or dependence.
  • Presence of another psychiatric or medical condition requiring immediate treatment and/or for which delay of treatment to focus on tics would be clinically inappropriate. Participants will not be excluded for comorbidities that commonly occur with TS (e.g., ADHD, OCD, anxiety) provided that this criterion is met, as only 10-15% of patients with TS have no comorbidities.
  • Concurrent psychotherapy focused on tics and/or involving procedures that overlap with CBIT (e.g., habit reversal therapy, exposure therapy targeting repetitive behaviors).
  • Psychotropic medication changes in the past 6 weeks and/or plans to change medication during the study period through post-treatment assessment.
  • ≥ 4 previous sessions of CBIT.


  • University of California accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92093 United States
  • University of Minnesota accepting new patients
    Minneapolis Minnesota 55414 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Deanna Greene, PhD
    Associate Professor, Cognitive Science, Vc-academic Affairs. Authored (or co-authored) 53 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of Minnesota
Study Type
Expecting 100 study participants
Last Updated