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Rev Med Chil. 1999 Dec;127(12):1480-6.

[Tics disease (Gilles de la Tourette syndrome): clinical characteristics of 70 patients].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Centro Médico Liga Chilena del Parkinson, Unidad de Neurología, Clínica Avansalud, Santiago, Chile.



Tourette's syndrome is a childhood-onset hereditary neurobehavioural disorder believed to occur without geographical restrictions. Although there have been reports of this disorder worldwide just a few are from Latin America.


To report a preliminary experience with a series of 70 patients and to review recent advances in this disorder.


We reviewed patients seen in pediatric and adult neurological clinics in Santiago, Chile, all of whom fulfilled clinical diagnostic criteria for Tourette Syndrome.


Seventy patients were studied, 54 males (77.1%) and 16 females (22.8%), their mean age at first evaluation was 13.6 years (range 2-46). The mean age of onset of symptoms was 6.4 (range 2-20), the mean time of follow-up was 3 years. Fifty-eight patients showed simple motor tics (blinking, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging), whereas dystonic tics like head jerking were seen in 38 patients, torticollis in 6 and oculogyric movements in 2. Complex motor tics like jumping, antics, trunk bending and head shaking were present in 16 subjects. Vocal tics were predominantly of the simple type: sniffing, throat clearing, blowing, and whistling. Complex vocal tics were seen in 12 patients, five cases showed palilalia, 3 echolalia and only six displayed coprolalia (8.5%). Tics were of mild to moderate severity in most patients. Obsessive-compulsive disorder was observed in 22.8% and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder were present in 35.7%. Forty-five patients (64.2%) had a first degree relative with tics, nine patients (12.8%) had a family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The current evidence involving desinhibition of cortico-striatum-thalamic-cortical neuronal circuits in the pathogenesis of this disorder is analyzed.


Our report supports the recognized clinical homogeneity and genetical basis of Tourette's syndrome regardless of geographical region and ethnic origin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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