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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1997 Dec;51(6):357-61.

Differences in clinical characteristics between Tourette syndrome patients with and without 'generalized tics' or coprolalia.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The purpose of this study is to examine whether there are differences in clinical characteristics between Tourette syndrome (TS) patients with and without 'generalized tics' (GT) which involve the entire body, and/or coprolalia. Subjects were 64 patients (55 males and 9 females, mean age, 17.4 +/- 7.2 years) who visited Tokyo University's outpatient clinic of neuropsychiatry from 1974 to 1993 and who met criteria for Tourette's disorder of DSM-III-R. Data on clinical characteristics, including tic symptoms and courses of their development, complications and developmental histories, treatment and severity, were collected by systematic chart review of all subjects. Tourette syndrome patients with 'generalized tics' tended to show multiple complex vocal tics more frequently than TS patients without GT. Tourette syndrome patients with coprolalia tended to show significantly higher rates of copropraxia, echolalia, and 'cleaning/washing' compulsion than did the TS patients without coprolalia. Tourette syndrome patients with both GT and coprolalia were classified as the severest group in terms of tic symptoms and social impairment. Tourette syndrome patients who had neither of these morbidities were classified into the mildest group in all aspects. Generalized tics and coprolalia seemed to indicate the severest end of the TS spectrum and seemed to be related with a need of intensive treatment.

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