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Nervenarzt. 1997 Dec;68(12):985-9.

[Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Effect of nicotine, alcohol and marihuana on clinical symptoms].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Neurologische Klinik mit Klinischer Neurophysiologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover.


Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric spectrum disorder of unknown etiology. While several studies have provided evidence that nicotine causes an improvement, only anecdotal reports suggest that alcohol and marijuana influence the symptomatology. Using a structured interview, we questioned a larger group of patients with Tourette syndrome (n = 47) about the use of nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana and their subjective experiences. Of 28 smoking patients only 2 (7%) reported a tic reduction when smoking. Of 35 patients drinking alcohol 24 (69%) noted an improvement. Thirteen patients reported the use of marijuana, of whom 11 (85%) noted a marked improvement. Our results provided strong evidence that the use of both alcohol and marijuana causes much more improvement in TS than nicotine smoking. We suggest that marijuana influences an assumed interaction between cannabinoid and dopamine receptors and, by this, influences the dopaminergic processes in basal ganglia and motor activity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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