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Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2011 Dec;79(12):724-32. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1281853. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

[Neurobiology, clinical characteristics and therapy in Tourette's syndrome].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Aachen, Germany.


Tourette's syndrome (TS) is characterised by motor and vocal tics. The clinical manifestation during childhood and the frequent remission during early adulthood point to a dysregulation in the maturation of neuronal pathways. As a neurobiological correlate, the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical circuit is the main focus of research. Two main features of a movement, the speed and direction of a movement, are controlled by the basal ganglia. Both features are dysregulated in TS.  Besides the motor symptoms, patients with TS suffer from comorbidities such as attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome, depression and obsessive compulsive disorders. Tics are modified in frequency and intensity by actions that require a high level of concentration such as reading or by distress, e.g., teasing by peers. The results of structural and functional imaging data support the hypothesis of altered signal transmission in the basal ganglia and a dysfunction in the limbic system. They also point to a complex interaction between cortical motor areas, the anterior cingulum, prefrontal regions and the basal ganglia.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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