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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;57(9):1005-7. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12592.

Commentary: Are alpha-2 agonist really effective in children with tics with comorbid ADHD? A commentary on Whittington et al. (2016).

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Yale Child Study Center and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


In this issue, Whittington et al. (2016) present a systematic review that reports the efficacy of three primary treatments for children with Tourette syndrome (TS) - (a) α2-adrenergic receptor agonists; (b) antipsychotic medications; and (c) habit reversal training/comprehensive behavioral intervention. In this commentary, we highlight the large degree of heterogeneity observed in the meta-analysis of trials involving alpha-2 agonist medications and present possible explanations for the observed heterogeneity. Among these possible explanations is the possibility that presence of comorbid ADHD may moderate the efficacy of alpha-2 agonists in the treatment of tic disorder with the medications being more effective in patients with both conditions. The commentary reviews the evidence supporting this possible moderating effect of ADHD and discusses the implications for such a relationship.


attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; clonidine; guanfacine; tics

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