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XTics - A Gamified Enhancer of Non-Pharmacological Interventions in Tic Disorders

Existing behavioral treatments in tic disorders (TDs) show considerable success, but their effectiveness is compromised by the limited availablility to these treatments due to a shortage in expert clinicians and by the reduced compliance of young patients with the demanding training protocols. The proposed project aims to develop and validate a neuroscientifically-informed gamified tic-therapy platform, based on engaging and interactive media content, which can be integrated in existing behavioral treatment protocols. Considering the centrality of digital media for today's children in western societies, such evidence may be particularly valuable. The proposed gamified solution - XTics - offers clear benefits in terms of accessibility (as a home-based training tool) and compliance (due to its engaging design). This individually-tailored intervention may be particularly beneficial for younger children with TD who have difficulties in withstanding the prolonged training sessions. We expect XTics to enhance the generalizability of tic suppression learning, thus improving children’s lives worldwide.