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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 May;74(5):602-7.

Tourette's syndrome: a cross sectional study to examine the PANDAS hypothesis.

Author information

  • 1Neuroinflammation Department, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK. a.church@ion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The classical neurological disorder after group A beta haemolytic streptococcal infection is Sydenham's chorea. Recently a tic disorder occurring after group A streptococcal infection has been described and termed PANDAS (paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection). It is proposed that antibodies induced after group A streptococcal infection react with basal ganglia neurones in Sydenham's chorea and PANDAS. Anti-basal ganglia antibodies (ABGA) are present in most cases of acute Sydenham's chorea, but rarely in controls.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the hypothesis that Tourette's syndrome may be associated with group A streptococcal infection and ABGA.

METHODS:

100 patients with Tourette's syndrome (DSM-IV-TR) were enrolled in a cross sectional study. Children with neurological disease (n = 50) and recent uncomplicated streptococcal infection (n = 40), adults with neurological disease (n = 50), and healthy adults (n = 50) were studied as controls. Recent group A streptococcal infection was defined using antistreptolysin O titre (ASOT). ABGA were detected using western immunoblotting and indirect immunofluorescence.

RESULTS:

ASOT was raised in 64% of children with Tourette's syndrome compared with 15% of paediatric neurological disease controls (p < 0.0001), and in 68% of adults with Tourette's syndrome compared with 12% of adult neurological controls and 8% of adult healthy controls (p < 0.05). Western immunoblotting showed positive binding in 20% of children and 27% of adults with Tourette's syndrome, compared with 2-4% of control groups (p < 0.05). The most common basal ganglia binding was to a 60 kDa antigen, similar to the proposed antigen in Sydenham's chorea. Indirect immunofluorescence revealed autoantibody binding to basal ganglia neurones. Serological evidence of recent group A streptococcal infection, assessed by a raised ASOT, was detected in 91% (21/23) of Tourette's syndrome patients with positive ABGA compared with 57% (44/77) with negative ABGA (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results support a role of group A streptococcal infection and basal ganglia autoimmunity in a subgroup of patients with Tourette's syndrome and suggest a pathogenic similarity between Sydenham's chorea and some patients with Tourette's syndrome.

PMID:
12700302
PMCID:
PMC1738462
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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