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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1999 Feb;40(2):213-8.

The prevalence of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome in children and adolescents with autism.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK.


Thirty-seven pupils attending a special school for children and adolescents with autism were observed for the presence of motor and vocal tics. Subsequent family interviews confirmed the diagnosis of comorbid Gilles de la Tourette's Syndrome (GTS) in three children with autism, giving a minimum prevalence rate of 8.1 %. Family history data also suggested this was heritable. The presence of GTS was not associated with superior intellectual, language, or social development. Results suggest that the rate of GTS in autism may exceed that expected by chance. The limited sample size constrains this conclusion. A large-scale epidemiological study testing this association study would appear merited.

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