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J Psychiatr Res. 2006 Sep;40(6):487-93. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Chronic tics and Tourette syndrome in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo Medical School, R Dr Ovideo Pires de Campos, 785, 4degrees. andar/sala 3, São Paulo, SP 05403-010, Brazil. <>


Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic motor/vocal tics (CMVT) are both common disorders in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, there have been few studies evaluating the differences between the OCD with TS and OCD with CMVT subgroups. This study was conducted in order to further investigate possible differences between the expression of the OCD phenotype in OCD with TS and that seen in OCD with CMVT. One hundred and fifty-nine outpatients referred to an OCD research program were evaluated using the following instruments: the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale; the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale; and the USP-HARVARD Repetitive Behaviors Interview. Patients were divided into three groups: OCD patients without tics (OCD-TICS, n=98), OCD patients with chronic motor or vocal tics (OCD+CMVT, n=31) and OCD patients with TS (OCD+TS, n=30). OCD+CMVT patients were similar to OCD+TS patients regarding the frequency of intrusive sounds, repeating behaviors, counting and tic-like compulsions (in both cases more frequent than in OCD-TICS patients). For age at obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptom onset, sensory phenomena score, number of comorbidities, frequency of somatic obsessions, bodily sensations and just-right perceptions, OCD+CMVT patients tended to be in between the other two groups. Our results suggest that there are qualitative and quantitative differences in the phenotypic expression of tic disorders in OCD patients, depending on whether the subject has TS or only CMVT.

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