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Handb Clin Neurol. 2011;100:641-57. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52014-2.00046-X.

Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders.

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  • 1Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore 21287, USA.


Tic disorders, including Tourette syndrome, are an intriguing group of paroxysmal movement abnormalities that begin in childhood, have a fluctuating course, are capable of causing psychosocial and physical problems, and often improve by early adulthood. These disorders are frequently associated with a variety of comorbid problems whose negative effects may exceed those of tics. Therapy is strictly symptomatic and usually includes educational, behavioral, and a variety of pharmacological therapies. Although there is strong evidence supporting an inherited basis, the precise genetic abnormality remains unknown. A proposed poststreptococcal autoimmune etiology remains controversial. Pathophysiologically, tics appear to arise from an alteration within cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical circuits, but the definitive site is unknown. Evidence supports an abnormality of synaptic neurotransmission, likely involving the dopaminergic system.

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