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It’s Time to Stop Telling Patients to “Stop It”: Response to Müller-Vahl et al.’s “Stop That! It’s not Tourette’s but a New Type of Mass Sociogenic Illness”

Christine Conelea, Jo Bervoets, Bethan Davies, Karolin Varner, Melina Malli, Daniel Jones, Diana Beljaars Orcid Logo, Benjamin Nash, Matthew Capriotti

PsyArXiv Preprints, Volume: https://psyarxiv.com/dj3an

Swansea University Author: Diana Beljaars Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.31234/osf.io/dj3an

Abstract

Recent reports from Tourette Syndrome (TS) multiple clinical researcher groups in North America and Europe describe a recent increase in young patients presenting to TS clinics. Reported commonalities include a female preponderance, older age of first detected symptoms, complex behaviors, significan...

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Published in: PsyArXiv Preprints
Published: https://psyarxiv.com/dj3an Center for Open Science 2021
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58440
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Abstract: Recent reports from Tourette Syndrome (TS) multiple clinical researcher groups in North America and Europe describe a recent increase in young patients presenting to TS clinics. Reported commonalities include a female preponderance, older age of first detected symptoms, complex behaviors, significant functional impairment, and similarities to behaviors recorded in popular videos on social media platforms, notably TikTok. Müller-Vahl, Pisarenko, Jakubovski, and Fremer (2021) jumped to the conclusion that this phenomenon is a “Mass Sociogenic Illness,” which we contend is not just premature but contrary to the current state of the evidence. This is a pressing matter of concern as their position is potentially harmful to patients and may hinder scientific and therapeutic progress. In the current response, we articulate scientific and ethical concerns about the Müller-Vahl et al. paper and advocate for a person-centered approach to supporting patients and studying this phenomenon.
Item Description: Preprint article before certification by peer review.
College: College of Science