On Friday, Dec. 11, nationally syndicated sports radio personality Craig Carton, founder of the TicTocStop Foundation, visited the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis to present a check for $100,000 to Dean Timothy Hottel, DDS, MS, MBA, as part of $340,000 committed to fund a clinical study designed to test a new oral device to treat Tourette syndrome.
Carton is one of the hosts with Boomer Esiason of the “Boomer and Carton” show on sports radio station WFAN in New York, the highest-rated sports radio morning show in the country. Carton has Tourette syndrome, as do two of his children, and started the TicTocStop Foundation to improve the lives of people with the neurological disorder.
Tourette syndrome is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, painless, nonrhythmic movements and sounds called tics. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have the most severe form of the neurological disorder.
The foundation has commissioned a multisite study to test the effectiveness of a new oral appliance, much like a mouth guard, it developed to reposition the lower jaw to lessen the severity and frequency of motor and vocal tics associated with Tourette syndrome. UTHSC is the main clinical study site, and the College of Dentistry is conducting research with adults and children now through at least mid-2016. The UTHSC site is being overseen by Dr. Hottel, who is the principal investigator, and Martha Wells, DMD, MS, associate professor and pediatric post-doctoral program director.
Speaking at the presentation, Carton explained that often drugs are used to treat Tourette syndrome in both children and adults. “We didn’t want to accept that as an answer.”
Carton said use of the custom individualized device, called a “Tic Guard,” can ease the burden faced by those with the disorder. “We can make their lives better and we believe it works,” he said.
William Balanoff, DDS, chief of the medical advisory board for TicTocStop Foundation, said the research being conducted at UTHSC is key to developing the device and possibly bringing it to market in the future. “Having an advocate and cooperation from Dean Hottel and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry cuts down our research time by two years.”
For information about the clinical trial or how to be considered as a participant, please visit https://www.tictocstop.com/#!medical-research-innovation/c5nk.