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Dr. Scharf is a behavioral neurologist and tic disorder specialist as well as a clinical researcher in molecular genetics. He completed his B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, his M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) at Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University, where he studied neurogenetics under Dr. Louis Kunkel. Following his neurology residency at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals, Dr. Scharf completed subspecialty training in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at the Brigham Behavioral Neurology Group as well as a research fellowship in the PNGU under Dr. David Pauls. He specializes clinically in disorders that lie at the interface between neurology and psychiatry, particularly in Tourette Syndrome (TS) and related conditions. His research efforts focus on the genetic underpinnings of TS as well as exploration of heritable subphenotypes of this disorder that might prove useful for future research studies and clinical trials. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the TSA International Consortium for Genetics (TSAICG), a team of clinicians and molecular geneticists dedicated to identifying susceptibility genes for TS. Dr. Scharf has received research grants from the Tourette Syndrome Association, American Academy of Neurology Foundation and the National Institutes for Mental Health (NIMH).
A new study of Tourette syndrome (TS) led by researchers from the University of California at San Francisco and MGH has found that nearly 86 percent of patients who seek treatment for TS will be diagnosed with a second psychiatric disorder during their lifetimes, and that nearly 58 percent will receive two or more such diagnoses.
An international research consortium led by investigators at MGH and the University of Chicago has answered several questions about the genetic background of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, providing the first direct confirmation that both are highly heritable and also revealing major differences between the underlying genetic makeup of the disorders.
Two papers that will appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, both receiving advance online release, may help identify gene variants that contribute to the risks of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder or Tourette syndrome.
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