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Neurology. 2002 Aug 13;59(3):414-20.

The behavioral spectrum of tic disorders: a community-based study.

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Department of Neurology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642-8673, USA.



Tourette syndrome (TS) and related tic disorders are commonly associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It has been argued, however, that any observed association between TS and these and other psychopathologies may be due to ascertainment bias in that individuals with multiple problems are more likely to be referred for medical evaluation.


In order to overcome the potential confounding by ascertainment bias, the authors conducted a community-based study of school children using direct interviews to determine the prevalence of tic disorders and any comorbid psychopathology. A standard psychiatric interview and standardized rating scales were utilized to diagnose childhood behavioral disorders.


Of the 1,596 children interviewed, 339 were identified as having tics. The following psychopathologies were found more commonly (p < 0.05) in the children with tics: OCD, ADHD, separation anxiety, overanxious disorder, simple phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, mania, major depression, and oppositional defiant behavior.


The behavioral spectrum of tic disorders includes OCD, other anxiety disorders, a mood disorder, and attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders.

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