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J Child Neurol. 2000 Jun;15(6):394-400.

Occurrence of tics in Asperger's syndrome and autistic disorder.

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Department of Neurology, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, USA.


Asperger's syndrome is a condition in the autistic spectrum in which language development is normal. Patients with Asperger's syndrome frequently exhibit repetitive movements (stereotypies), and can have motor and phonic tics in addition to other behavioral abnormalities. We present 12 patients with autistic spectrum disorders who were referred to our Movement Disorders Clinic for evaluation of tics. Eight of the 12 had normal language development and therefore met criteria for Asperger's syndrome. All patients exhibited stereotypic movements; in addition, seven had tics and six of these met diagnostic criteria for Tourette syndrome. Of the six patients with clinical features of both Asperger's syndrome and Tourette syndrome, three had severe congenital sensory deficits. The autistic patients in our series were clinically heterogeneous and though tics were clearly present, other aberrant movements demonstrated by them were harder to classify. Our series confirms the wide range of clinical manifestations in Asperger's syndrome and autism, including tics and other features of Tourette syndrome. Furthermore, it suggests that sensory deprivation contributes to the development of adventitious movements in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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